Browsing Category: Program Updates

Gardening Tips: How to Learn Your Garden’s Soil Type

Whether you’re a farmer planting miles of crops or you’re looking to start a small garden in your backyard, one of the first steps is learning what kind of soil you’ll be planting in. The three main types of soil are sand, silt, and clay. Each holds nutrients and water differently. To give your garden the best chance to flourish, try this trick to determine your soil type:

After your soil has settled to the bottom of your water bottle, you’ll know what percentage of your soil is sand, silt, and clay. Just like Convoy of Hope Agriculture participants, you can use this information to learn which things will grow and thrive best in your region.

SAND

Soil with a lot of sand can drain water more efficiently than other soil types, which can lead to the loss of nutrients. This also means the soil will warm faster in the spring. Sandy soil is best for growing vegetable root crops like carrots and potatoes, and bulbs like tulips and sun roses. Other crops that are good with this soil type include:

  • Lettuce
  • Collard greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries

SILT

Silty soil drains well but retains more water than sandy soil. This soil type is great for shrubs, climbers, grasses, and perennials. Trees, vegetables, and fruits that love moisture can also do well in silty soil, but make sure they have adequate drainage. Other crops that are good to plant in this soil type include:

  • Blackberries
  • Beach roses
  • Raspberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Hops
  • Grapes
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Ginger
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

CLAY

Clay soil holds the most water, which means it will also be the slowest to warm when spring arrives. Like silty soil, clay soil works great for perennials and shrubs. This soil also works well for summer crop vegetables like corn and ornamental trees, such as lavender, cacti, and cherry blossoms. Other crops that are good with this soil type include:

  • Aster
  • Flowering quince
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Grapes 
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Peaches

For more information on determining your soil type, click here to download a resource from Virginia State University. To learn more about how Convoy of Hope trains individuals in our Agriculture program, visit convoyofhope.org/ag.

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Agriculture

When the Odds Were Against Her, Margi Persevered

For many in Honduras, the struggle for hope is a part of daily living. Amidst regular droughts and hurricanes, Honduras is one of the poorest and most dangerous countries in Latin America, with approximately half of the population living below the poverty line.

Despite all of this, Margi still lives with hope. As a proactive and innovative entrepreneur, she participates in Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program. This initiative helps people begin new lives with financial education, vocational training, cooperative saving groups, and start-up capital.

After opening a local grocery store, Margi began to see the cycle of hopelessness break in her life. Even when the pandemic struck, she and her store stood strong in the face of adversity.

“[The program] has been very helpful to me. I have learned to value myself, love myself, have self-confidence and realize that I am capable of achieving great things, which is why I have become an entrepreneurial woman,” Margi said. “Today I can see myself as a woman with clear goals and a vision of a life plan for the future.”

Thanks to her newfound confidence, stable source of income, and partnership with those who believe in her, she has persevered. As a light in her community, Margi has continued to thrive and encourage those around her.

Everything that one proposes in life can be achieved as long as we have the strength, attitude, and will to get ahead,” she said. To the people who make aid possible through Convoy, I say that they are doing an enormous job and I hope God blesses them so that they can continue supporting other people, just as they have done with me.”

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Women's Empowerment

Celebrating World Health day with Proper Nutrition in the Philippines

Nutritious meals can change the course of children’s lives. Having regular access to healthy food can mean the difference between a full, meaningful life and one of desperate insecurity.

Labhika is a perfect example. She used to go to school weak and unable to focus. The food insecurity her family faced put good grades at the bottom of her to-do list. When Labhika went home, she took care of her sick mother and struggled with grief from the loss of her younger brother. As the eldest child, it was Labhika’s responsibility to help maintain the household, care for her younger siblings, and help her father with chores. As a farmer, her father provided for the family in certain seasons, but couldn’t at other times of the year.

When Labhika began participating in Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program, everything changed.

“It’s delicious!” she said of the food she received. Her favorite dish is rice and soy mixed with sauteed vegetables. Labhika proudly pointed out that she felt full.

Now that Labhika gets a warm and nutritious meal at school every day, she finds it much easier to concentrate and get good grades.

Full hearts and full lives are often a byproduct of full stomachs. Now that Labhika is excelling in her classes, she has taken it upon herself to help other classmates study and receive good grades. One day, she wants to be a teacher. She is also a running candidate for class valedictorian.

“Last year in the Philippines alone, we reached nearly 19,000 children through our Children’s Feeding efforts,” Convoy of Hope’s International Program Partner Relations Manager Erin-Rae Peace said. “What’s so incredible is that these are children who represent individual lives that are forever changed.”

For just $10, you can feed a child every school day for an entire month. This World Health Day, click here to learn more about how you can join in this mission.

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Children's Feeding

Julian’s Story: From Despair to Big Dreams

COVID-19 completely changed 11-year-old Julian’s life. “I felt sad,” he said. “I was anxious for this to be over, to go out and play, see my friends, go to school.”

Quarantine orders kept him inside the floorless, one-room home that he shared with five other members of his family. They had no running water and only two beds to share. When Julian’s mother got sick and his father lost his job laying bricks, Julian felt entirely helpless. With hunger and health concerns looming, hope seemed far out of reach.

“My father was unemployed. We had no food due to lack of money,” Julian said. “But that’s when you gave us [food].”

Now, as a participant in Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program, Julian has access to hot and nutritious meals. Since he no longer has to worry about food insecurity, Julian is free to focus on his schoolwork, his artwork, and his dream of becoming a chef. His next goal is to reach a point where he can support the rest of his family.

“To my brothers and my mother, I want to give them what they need … their expenses,” he said. “The same for my father; I want to help him.”

Thanks to support from people like you, Julian can continue spreading hope to his family and his community. Thank you for changing his story.

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Children's Feeding

Convoy of Hope helps Lebanese Family Grapple with Explosion & Economic Crisis

“I had nothing left,” Maya said somberly.

Maya is the mother of three children, all of whom live with severe mental and physical ailments. Every day, she is faced with the challenge of raising them in the middle of one of the world’s worst economic crises.

Since October 2019, Lebanese currency has lost 90% of its value. Due to the fact that more than 80% of the basic goods sold in the country are imported, prices have skyrocketed. More than half of the population now lives below the poverty line. Protests have sprung up in areas already struggling to recover from the massive explosion in Beirut last August.

Combined stress from the worsening economic climate, her husband’s lack of employment, and hundreds of dollars in monthly medical costs sent Maya into a deep depression.

Convoy of Hope’s partners in Lebanon helped identify Maya’s needs and those of her family. Convoy of Hope then teamed up with others on the ground to provide hope to Maya and her children in the form of food, medicine, hygiene kits, and blankets.

“I want to thank all those who volunteered to prepare hygiene kits and prepare food parcels. Thank you for thinking of us,” Maya said.

What was once cause for despair for Maya’s family is now a source of hope. 

“Our life has improved. We no longer stress about the simple things like before,” she said. “Your help gave me hope and lifted my spirit. Today, I am able to feed my kids a decent meal — they love hamburgers — buy medicine, and buy them some snacks they love but hardly get. Convoy has made a change in my life and helped me in more ways than I can ever thank them.”

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Disaster Services