Sierra Leone Liberia Youth
$3,819 needed of $55,000
Presbyterian Church (USA)
This program is working to improve the food security status of 18 villages by the end of 2023 by developing locally controlled and resilient food systems. The focus is on three villages per year in Sierra Leone and three in Liberia. Youth are being provided with livelihood opportunities and ecologically sound and sustainable farming practices are being promoted.
The basic strategy is to build a one year food reserve, to be replenished each year, by engaging the youth in the local production and storage of food staples. This reserve will be used to provide food in times of high food insecurity and will serve as a seed bank.
Nutrition and kitchen gardening training are also taking place in each village and families are being encouraged to grow their own vegetables in home gardens.
Over three years this program will work in 18 communities to train 360 farmers which will benefit 2520 people.
Many Hands Make Light Work
The youth of a farmers group in one village set up a kuu to build a food storage facility in their community. And just what is a kuu, you ask?
Anyone who’s participated in (or heard about) a barn raising, quilting bee or Habitat for Humanity project will immediately understand the concept of the Liberian kuu. It’s a group of people who take turns working together on each other’s farms or other projects requiring physical labor such as building homes.
The goal of the program – supporting rural community groups engaged in food production and marketing – draws its strength from the traditional kuu, since people are already used to working together. The focus is on young people, providing livelihood opportunities in farming for the youth of the communities. They work toward developing locally-controlled and resilient food systems to improve the food security and economic and social well-being in their communities.
As he worked on the roof of the building, a member of the Youth Agriculture Program named Mulbah said, “We had already organized a kuu to work on each other’s farms, but this one is specifically to build the storehouse. The nice thing is that, while we are working, many members of the community come out to help even though they are not part of the kuu.”
Daniel, the leader of the kuu, explains why people are so enthusiastic about the storehouse. “Our daily staple food is rice, and we earn money from growing and selling vegetables. Now that we’ll have a place to keep the rice and vegetables, we can grow more and our harvests will be protected against pests, mold, and the heavy rains we’re experiencing more often. We will have more to eat even in the hungry season.”
Sierra Leone Liberia Youth Program
Led by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Local Partner Agricultural Missions, West Africa Initiative of Liberia, Village to Village Federation (Sierra Leone)