Foods Resource Bank Blog

Farming as a Family in Uganda

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In an earlier post we introduced the gender integration pilot program that we are undertaking with Lutheran World Relief.  The first pilot program to launch is in Uganda and will be working in the eastern part of the country with a newly formed grower’s society that works with 11 co-operatives. The pilot program will work with two of these cooperatives to help improve farm production, marketing and to introduce a model called “Farming as a Family Business”.

11/26/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

New LWR Pilot Programs look at Gender Roles in Agriculture

Foods Resource Bank’s members and their overseas partners put in a tremendous amount of care and attention to the needs of local communities when designing overseas programs. Understanding the local context including the root causes of hunger, are essential for helping a community design a program that best fits their needs. The root causes of hunger and poverty are often things unseen on the surface that are complex and intertwined.

11/16/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Highlights and Lessons Learned on an FRB Trip

There are so many highlights and lessons learned in an FRB trip but here are a few from my recent experience in Africa and Armenia:

11/08/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Successful Saving in Malawi

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Each time I visit Africa I am reminded of the power of building on the traditional methodologies that women in communities have used for centuries to save small amounts of money in contexts where they have no access to formal banking and/or credit.  Formerly known as table banking, tontines, etc. these methodologies are being refined and reintroduced in many FRB funded communities. Savings and Internal Lending Committees (SILCs) and Village Savings and Lending (VSLs) are some of the new names for the similar methodologies that are spreading rapidly, affirming that people adopt practices they see as beneficial.

10/29/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Hold with Open Hands

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I continue to marvel at the deep wisdom and elegant simplicity of the FRB model; all it asks is that we hold before ourselves open hands and see what it is that we have to offer. For some it is the knowledge and love of farming, for others it is land or seed or the machinery to plant, tend and harvest a crop to be grown for the benefit of other farmers in places where hunger stifles potential and erodes hope. For others it is skill in fundraising or having financial resources to contribute. And for some like Dale Goodman it is the network of relationships from which one can invite together a diverse group to hear about FRB and see what might happen. 

10/29/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Working and Learning with FRB

This past February I traveled to Nebaj, Guatemala on a Work-Learning trip with Foods Resource Bank (FRB). Our project in Guatemala was to work hand-in-hand with members of a small village to construct a greenhouse. The hope was to provide greater food and nutritional security to these mountain villagers throughout the year. FRB’s main goal on their Work-Learning trips, however, is to give motivation, support, and solidarity to the people in poverty who receive FRB funds. So, while we were there to build a greenhouse, more importantly we were there to build relationships. And that was the part of the trip that I will remember the most.

10/01/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Women are saving money in Malawi!

In my 9/27 blog post I wrote about what I learned from Nancy Kimani Hinga, program coordinator for the FRB/CRWRC-World Renew food security program in Nkhoma, Malawi. We attended a harvest festival in SW Michigan together, where she spoke about her work. Here is another uplifting story Nancy told us about the Nkhoma program.  

10/01/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Learning from an Overseas Visitor

I had the pleasure of attending a recent growing project harvest celebration with a representative of one of our programs in Malawi. Nancy Kimani Hinga, program consultant for CRWRC/World Renew, is in North America now on a deputation visit. She’s a deeply spiritual, friendly and gracious person, and an excellent speaker. She reported to attendees on the impact FRB’s Malawi-Nkhoma program has had on the women who participate in it. 

09/27/2012 | Comments: 1 | Add Comment | Read More

Celebrating the Diversity and Holiness of Agriculture

The natural world is full of wonder. Built into the design of creation is mystery and wonder and a reliance on the Creator to keep it all going. Several weeks ago I found myself walking on a mile-long lava flow in Eastern Oregon. I sat on top of a chunk of obsidian, lava so superheated it turned to glass. Looking out over the flow and the dormant volcanoes beyond, I spotted a lone pine tree rooted onto a piece of lava rock in what looked like a soilless, waterless environment. I sat in wonder staring at this lone pine tree thriving on what little it had around it. I feel the same wonder when I look over farms across the world and around this country, even though I studied agriculture and all the science behind it. 

08/23/2012 | Comments: 1 | Add Comment | Read More

A Gift for Several Michigan Growing Projects

What a precious gift FRB receives from Green Valley Agricultural Inc (GVA) who supplies a number of Michigan growing projects with pallets of seed each year. Employee La Raine Salmon explains how  it all began:

08/20/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More