AID works with a Ugandan NGO called Life Gospel Ministries, led by South Sudanese pastor Thomas Lubari, to train South Sudanese refugees in Foundations for Farming agriculture techniques.
This enables them to use the plot of land they are allocated on arrival in Uganda to develop a livelihood and provide for their families. It is hoped that one day, they will be able to return to South Sudan and put these new skills to use in farming its highly fertile land.
Thomas trains refugees using a method created by the organisation Foundations for Farming (FfF), which seeks to farm in a way that honours God. Foundations for Farming not only trains people to farm in a sustainable and transformative way but also gives participants the opportunity to hear the Gospel.
Thomas recently visited farmers at Bweyale camp who have participated in the FfF sessions to find out how they are progressing following the training. Last year, Andrew Diko succeeded in yielding a considerable harvest of maize. However, Andrew’s major challenge, like most refugee farmers, is access to mulch which greatly improves soil productivity. A bundle of 45cm diameter grass costs about $3.
Awak Agwer, also based at Bweyale, planted a field of beans which will provide for her in addition to the $10 per person per month she and her family receive from the UN Refugee Agency. Awak is determined to return to South Sudan one day to use her farming skills in her home community.
Mary Ayak is part of a group in care of an onion nursery. When the onions are ready, each member will be given the seedlings to plant and will be supervised individually. The nursery beds are covered with nets to protect the seedlings from chickens!
These three people and the other participants in the project are striving to provide for themselves and build their skills despite being displaced from their homes due to the South Sudanese conflict. Thomas and his team continue to support them as their crops grow in time for harvest in July and August.
‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’ – Jeremiah 17:7-8