Browsing Category: Agriculture

After Years of drought, Kenyan Villages have Clean Water

The music was blaring, people were singing and dancing, and smiles were abundant. It was a fitting celebration for this Kenyan village, which for the first time in years, has a source of clean water.

Throughout Kenya, similar celebrations ensued where Convoy of Hope drilled boreholes — similar to wells — and installed systems that hold up to 6 million gallons of water. For many, these celebrations mark the end of a dark era, one that began in 2016 during severe drought.

“The cycle of drought in Kenya has been getting tighter and tighter through the years,” Chris Dudley, Convoy of Hope’s Stabilization & Humanitarian Intervention Director, said. “Drought used to happen once every 10 or 15 years, but now it’s happening every few years.”

In recent years, Kenyan families have watched their cattle wither away. For these people, lack of water meant no irrigation, no viability for livestock, and no way to provide for their families.

“Shortly after [one catchment system] was built, there were several days of rain that almost filled it,” Chris said. “This water was used for several months to help keep livestock alive and to irrigate small farms. For many pastoralist communities, their livestock is their currency, so helping keep [them] alive is huge.”

Like water, hope changes shape from time to time. Both are vital. For people affected by the drought in Kenya, hope comes in the form of a sustainable water source and is provided as a direct result of support from people like you.

While this crisis persists, we will continue to provide help and hope to people in need. To join us in our mission, click here.

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Agriculture / Field Story

Beyond the Meal: Convoy of Hope’s Agriculture Program

Convoy of Hope has been feeding families for 25 years, but our mission has never just been about filling stomachs — it’s about transforming communities. When we started our Children’s Feeding program, we knew it couldn’t stop there. We wanted to move beyond the meal, towards sustainability. That’s how our Agriculture program began. 

Dr. Jason Streubel, affectionately known as Dr. Dirt, joined our team in 2011and began transforming the way we looked at agriculture in our international work.

“Agriculture touches every aspect of existence,” Jason says.

What started as one farmer in Haiti with a garden behind his house has now transformed into a co-op with hundreds of farmers, an agriculture education in schools, and a training program that helps pastors pass on agricultural skills to their congregations. 

“Agriculture helps us tap into families as a whole,” says Convoy of Hope’s Senior Director of International Program Partner Relations Kevin Rose. 

Now we have a whole team of agriculture experts working to develop new and lasting ways to break the cycle of poverty in communities around the world. Since our Agriculture program’s implementation, more than 23,000 people have received some form of formal agriculture education through Convoy of Hope in eight countries.

As our program expands, it is interacting with several of our other initiatives. After Cyclone Idai decimated parts of southeast Africa, thousands of families found their homes and their crops destroyed. While our team distributed relief supplies to meet immediate needs, one of our International Disaster Services staff members and agriculture experts, Chris Groh, distributed fast-growing corn seed. This helped families to quickly get back on their feet after the disaster. 

Our Agriculture efforts have also found their way stateside in conjunction with our Community Events. Not only do we hand out gardens-in-a-bag at our events — which offers working families seeds and instructions to create a home garden — but our team is working with partners in Flint, Michigan, to build community gardens. 

Food security is crucial for families around the world. When we help communities increase their food security, it transforms the lives of countless people, lifting them out of dependency. You can learn more about our Agriculture program at convoyofhope.org/ag.

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Agriculture

Field Teams: Hope for a Sustainable Future

Convoy of Hope Field Teams come alongside communities and engage in work that helps them flourish. Teams from all over the U.S. work with the staff in several countries around the world to tackle projects that support Convoy’s various programs. These opportunities give volunteers the chance to offer hope and help in ways that not only affect the lives of one child or family, but the long-term trajectory of an entire community.

Since we began our Field Teams program in 2013, we’ve engaged more than 4,600 volunteers. These teams help in places like the Ngaramtoni Primary School in Tanzania, where teams serve kids who are in our Children’s Feeding program. 

According to Jackie Brawner, a Field Team volunteer leader who worked in this area of Tanzania, teams began working with the school by offering kids lunch every day and helping clear brush so they could build greenhouses. Jackie’s church, Bonita Valley Community Church, even funded two greenhouses for the school to grow their own food for lunch. The school can now sell any extra food they grow at the market to purchase other foods as well, which diversifies their students’ diets. 

With the help of Field Teams, we hope that one day this community will be thriving without need of our help. 

“I love that Convoy of Hope is focused on sustainability,” Jackie says. “We are able, as a team, to go into the places where Convoy of Hope is working and continue the work. And when we leave, because of the established programs they have there, the projects will be continued.” 

Since Convoy entered Ngaramtoni, we’ve held community meetings, helped identify income generating opportunities, addressed hygiene and sanitation issues, empowered mothers to do business, and taught students gardening techniques. The school is now poised to harvest and sell more than 10 metric tons of tomatoes per year, which will fund the lunch program in the future.

“Working with Convoy of Hope Field Teams is the greatest blessing of my life,” says Jackie. “To be boots on the ground and to see the work and effort that Convoy of Hope is doing to feed people and change lives is a priceless experience. On a Field Team, there will be guaranteed laughter and tears. You cannot come back the same. They are truly trips of a lifetime.” 

Already in 2019, 46 Field Teams have served in 10 different locations, from Moldova to the Mississippi Delta. These incredible volunteers have helped with numerous projects around the world in support of our mission — providing help and hope to people who need it most. 

Visit convoyofhope.org/fieldteams to learn more about Field Teams.

 

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Agriculture / Children's Feeding / Field Story / Join the Convoy / Volunteering