Written by Elizabeth Stanley, SIA Admin
Several of our partners have been very busy planting fields and tending to gardens, which ultimately fosters self-sufficiency and sustainability for the communities they serve. It is quite remarkable to see the dedication these organizations have to provide resources which promote long-term sustainability as well community building and empowerment.
Mbeere Family of Brethren CBO is an SIA partner in central Kenya that works to empower grassroots people to strive for their basic needs and improve their livelihood through economic empowerment and sustainable livelihood development. We funded water pump supplies, fertilizers, and crop seeds for the farm. Mbeere understands the value of natural resources and lets nothing go to waste.
Look at these beautiful tomatoes! One of their members said, "There was not any single drop of water that got lost from my kitchen. After washing all the utensils, I used that water [to] grow ten stems of tomatoes and have harvested now. Am really encouraged!"
Our partner, Kakuuto Development Initiatives (KADI), is a community organization in Uganda working with Muslim and Christian members of rural Kakuuto (some members are pictured below). They have been very busy planting roughly 40,0000 pineapple suckers! This is a collective, income-generating project for KADI members, using land shared by a local landowner. They say, "KADI would like to thank Spirit In Action for the food security and sustainability project, which is ongoing, and provides opportunities for less privileged girls, women and elderly women of the community to lead a self-sustainable livelihood."
The rains have started, and they are grateful to be done with planting. We can't wait to see these full-grown pineapples!
Manyamula Community Saving and Investment Promotion Cooperative (COMSIP) in Malawi is an active force for change and progress in the community. In November 2019, SIA funds were used to construct an oil factory which helps farmers get better prices for their soybean, sunflower and peanut crops, and they are continuing to expand on this today. Tanya Cothran and Naomi Ayot Oyaro will be going to visit Manymula COMSIP in July!
The sunflower field is big, and the crops are doing well. Winkley Mahowe, the Programs Officer, told us that despite erratic rains, they hope for a good yield this harvest in May. We are also praying for success!
Kiini Sustainable Initiative in Kenya provides a platform for underprivileged and marginalized people through mobilization, creating awareness, and utilizing indigenous resources to meet socioeconomic needs in Northern and Central Kenya. SIA funds were used to establish an organic demonstration farm where individuals can receive training on farming technologies and food security principles.
Recently, they ran a workshop for community farmers on how to make compost manure, liquid manure and tea manure. This practice will help to keep the soil rich in nutrients for farming and make extra good use of available resources such as food and animal waste.
The workshop proved successful, and farmers left with a lot of good information on how to get the most out of their soil. This is another amazing use of resources. Learning to use everything, even what we think of as waste, creates a solid framework for sustainability.
Even more delightful, Kiini shared the processes with all of the SIA partners, and many took advantage of the information! Grant partners share knowledge and insight through our SIA Partners WhatsApp chat group, strengthening our community. Encouraging this kind of sharing between grant partners is one of the ways that SIA gives "support beyond the check." This principle of Trust-Based Philanthropy aims to bring more equity and true partnership into grantmaking.