Growing Resilience

Today’s project update comes from GrowEastAfrica, an SPI partner who has adapted their programs over the years to meet the most urgent needs of the families they serve. Co-founder, Yohannes Chonde, knows that access to farming resources — like good seed, tools, and training — can change lives. GrowEastAfrica’s programs strive not only to provide access to resources, but also to educate and train farmers who can pass on their knowledge and training to other farmers. If they seem familiar that’s because we featured them just last month.

Learning: Growing saplings in a tray

Fate is one farmer who has forged a new livelihood from the resources and education she accessed through GrowEastAfrica. Fleeing dangerous conditions, she left everything behind to start her life over in Soyama. Soon after arriving, Fate participated in farming and postharvest training with the Soyama Women’s Association offered by GrowEastAfrica in collaboration with the Burji District Agricultural Department. As one of the first participants, she’s witnessed how her community has changed because of GrowEastAfrica and her community’s determination to reestablish themselves:

“Just a few years ago, we were a community that was worried about what we would eat tomorrow and what the future looks like. … Today, not only are we growing our own food, but we’re making plans for the future of our people and our community.”

Fate’s journey is one of survival and resilience. Building upon her training, she’s stepped into leadership with her Association to increase her community’s self-reliance:

“We are creating markets for ourselves, we’re inspiring and empowering each other, and we’re saving money and contributing to our own development. … We’re building on what we’ve already accomplished to include neighboring villages and communities. Hope has come back to us, and we hope to grow our project so everyone — us, our communities, our villages and our country — can become fully self-reliant.”

Visiting Meki Hydroponic Tomato Farm

Fate and her Association are continually seeking new ways to learn and grow. They recently visited a commercial farm to see different techniques demonstrated that they can incorporate into their own practices.

Your support helps provide trainings like this, which develop local leaders and put economic power into women’s hands. We are grateful for your support of Sweet Blossom Gifts and the Women’s Empowerment Initiative! Earlier this year, Fate shared a letter of gratitude for your support and the partnership between SPI and GrowEastAfrica. We’ll leave you with her words.

“Because of the support from Seed Programs International, we now have access to water where there was none. … Thank you for choosing to invest in our community and in our well-being. We are going to be good stewards of your trust and your resources and will continue to share updates of our growth and successes, as well as challenges, for many years to come.”

Thank you!

Sweet Blossom Gifts & The SPI Team

Using compressed wood fibers instead of soil

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