After years of foreign aid pouring into the East African country of Rwanda following its 1994 civil war and genocide, its citizens are used to receiving help from those on the outside. Those tables could finally be turning, however. Recently I documented the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative, a program wherein food aid for Africa is bought, not from a farmer in Iowa or Australia and shipped thousands of miles to its destination, but from right here in Africa. Rwanda is home to some 55,000 refugees, most of whom are sheltering from ongoing turmoil in the Democratic Republic of Congo, its neighbor to the west. Most of these refugees are landless and unable to provide for themselves and their families. Consequently they’re reliant on food aid. Above, children race a homemade scooter through the streets of Kaziba refugee camp along the shores of Lake Kivu[…]Read More
Post Tagged with: "agriculture"
I’ve recently been impressed with the work of the agricultural NGO One Acre Fund. While on assignment in Kenya for business magazine “FIVE,” I documented the organization’s work with small farmers. These farmers usually cultivate no more than approximately one acre of land and therefore are usually the most in need. While OAF works in both Kenya and Rwanda, these photographs are from western Kenya’s Webuye district. Why is One Acre Fund featured in a business magazine? Its model differs from that of most non-profit organizations. Instead of handing out improved fertilizers and seeds, farmers are given loans for these things and organize in groups under the supervision of a extension worker to learn how to use them. The groups then bring their harvests together at the end of the season when One Acre Fund acts as a bulk selling agent, thus commanding higher prices for the farmers. In 2009,[…]Read More
After combing through all the poultry photographs I had taken in the past month, I thought a special blog entry was in order. I then pondered all the chicken puns I could make but second guessed incorporating most of them here, not wanting to derail any future potential writing assignments. BRAC, with whom I recently spent an entire month in four different countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, is the only NGO on the continent with a poultry vaccination program. As seen here in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Uganda, BRAC trains women from local microfinance groups in animal husbandry, health issues, and vaccinations. Members of the community queue up on vaccination days with their poultry and livestock and are charged a small fee for the service. The program provides jobs for those performing the vaccinations and increased income for the small farmers whose poultry is no longer susceptible to many of the[…]Read More