Anybody who knows me is already aware that I have a major passion for mission and humanitarian work in developing nations. I think it’s in my blood, as my parents met on the mission field in Nepal in the early ’80s, and I grew up watching slide shows of their overseas adventures.
Someday in the not too distant future, I plan to take these farming skills and do something really worthwhile with them. I want teach agricultural techniques in the field in developing countries such as the Dominican Republic and Haiti. I know it would be mostly a learning experience on my part, as many of the things we do here in our priveleged, stable country would be impractical in other parts of the world. However, I think that one of these days I’ll have something helpful to share with other farmers, and hopefully I’ll have the privilege of doing so.
That being said, I was thrilled to find a great story about Ugandan farmers on the website of Public Radio International. Listen to the broadcast audio story, if you have a minute. I think you’ll be impressed.
Women in Uganda have figured out that chickens are the ticket to earning a living wage. From the easy-keeping birds, they are able to produce enough eggs and meat to sell to their communities and local tourist lodges. Consequently, many women are able to put food on the table and send their kids to school, simple things which are impossible for the impoverished in many countries.
That is what I want to be a part of. Agriculture is often so simple yet the results are quite literally life-changing. Don’t you find it fascinating that the Ugandan professor quoted in the story is both a professor of Animal Health and Social Economics? That speaks volumes!
Pepper farm in La Travesia del Mulo, Dominican Republic
If you are not already supporting an NGO that is dedicated to alleviating poverty on the local level, I heartily encourage you to do so.
A few organizations that I wholeheartedly believe in are listed below. I support, have served with, visited the headquarters of, and spoken to the directors of each and every organization here. They are imparting life-changing skills…one chicken egg and one grammar lesson at a time.
T.E.A.R.S. Ministry (Dominican Republic/Haiti) – schools, clean water and churches for impoverished neighborhoods and rural villages
Heifer International (worldwide) – ending hunger & poverty through agriculture
Agros (Central America/Mexico) – creating a sustainable economy through agriculture
Kids Alive (worldwide) – providing for the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children
And I will leave you with this photo of a (very white) Dominican woman, hauling freshly-harvested yuca in a bucket to her mountain home, while the male farmers admire her strength. A testament to the vital part women play in agriculture worldwide.