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Help grow brighter futures

PROGRESS: Joshua and Maximilla are now equipped with the knowledge to run a profitable farming business

IN THE midst of the festive season, many of us are looking forward to gathering with family to celebrate together.

It is one of the few times of the year when we can pause our hectic schedules and dedicate time to being with those we love the most.

It’s also a time when many people take time to reflect on the struggles faced by those less fortunate than ourselves.

Exchanging gifts with family is a tradition for many at this time of year, as well as choosing a charity to make a donation to in support of a favourite cause.

If helping families living in poverty in Africa is something close to your heart, the international charity Farm Africa is a cause worth considering.

Farm Africa’s Growing Futures appeal is currently raising funds to help farmers across eastern Africa grow more, sell more and sell for more, while protecting the environment for years to come.

Until January 18, 2018, every pound donated to the appeal by UK residents will be matched by the UK Government, meaning that donations will go twice as far.

The matched funds will be used to help 2,000 young women and men in western Kenya escape poverty by setting up their own sustainable horticulture businesses.

SHORTFALL

By supporting the Growing Futures appeal, you’ll be helping parents like Joshua and Maximilla, young farmers who used to scrape by growing maize for meagre returns and trying to pick up work on other people’s farms to make up the shortfall.

It was almost impossible for them to earn enough to provide for their young children. The family was plunged further into poverty and debt when an unscrupulous buyer failed to pay up for their crops as promised. Joshua felt his lack of education contributed to his failure to make a profit from the crops he had worked so hard to grow.

The family’s financial problems put their children’s education at risk. Without money available to pay school fees, the children were sent home from school.

Life changed when the couple joined the Tugumo Youth Group and were trained by Farm Africa’s Growing Futures project in the production of horticultural crops such as French beans, sugar snaps, snow peas, garden peas and cabbages: veg- etables that are in high demand.

Crucially, Farm Africa also trained the couple in record keeping and business planning to help ensure their hard work on the farm is rewarded by a decent income.

The project linked the couple to a buyer with a good record of making prompt payments to farmers, a factor crucial in keeping the family’s finances afloat.

Joshua commented: “I now have a consistent weekly income whenever harvesting commences, meaning I am able to take care of my family.

NEEDS

“My household is now happy since we can afford the basic needs we couldn’t buy before. I can say now that my kids are not lacking any school-related costs because of the support
from Farm Africa.” Maxmilla added:

“Today we can clothe the children better, feed them better and send them to school.” The couple’s long-term plan is to increase their farming land to five to six acres so that they can grow French beans and sugar snaps at a larger scale.

There are many more Kenyan farming families who need help – 45 per cent of people in Kenya now live below the poverty line.
Farm Africa gives young farmers like Joshua and Maximilla the technical know-how, tools and seeds they need to make a success out of farming.

£8 could provide one young farmer with high-quality seeds and agricultural training. Dona- tions can be made online at farmafrica.org/ donate/growingfutures

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