January 2018 Program Roundup
January 26, 2018
Great things happen when people work together. Across our programs, the people we serve are stepping up and taking ownership of the knowledge, training and tools they have received to reach their personal goals and benefit their communities.
Balema and Madihoi Working Together as Savings Groups and Farmers
The Balema and Madihoi Savings Groups and community members in Bauya, Sierra Leone are working together to make mud bricks for their grain store at Mosenessiewo village. Both of these groups participated successfully in the seed loan program. Each group took the 2 bags of groundnuts they were given as a loan and successfully increased their yields in both seasons last year. Their increases were significant enough to spark their desire to build storage facilities in which they could process and store excess yields for selling at a time in the year when grain and legume prices will be higher, thus earning a larger profit. (JHI is no longer loaning seeds for the seed loan program because they are now able to loan to one another!)
This desire is also connected to their plans to implement a one-acre sustainable farming system. This system will be the training and proving ground for a complete and sustainable farming system that will produce increased yields, requiring storage space.
The one-acre sustainable farming system will incorporate diverse crops–from grains and legumes to vegetables and fruit trees. It will also include a small goat farm to produce manure for composting. The idea is to create a fully self-sustained farming environment that is highly productive and diversified. This will produce high yields with lower risk and higher profit for the farmer.
Ginger Project Training
Our team traveled to Lunsar, Sierra Leone to train the eight key leaders from each of the four ginger farming groups (who will be farming ginger to sell in local markets), and local Just Hope staff at our Leadership and Project Management Workshop.
The purpose of the workshop was to empower the leaders and discuss characteristics of effective leadership and how to apply them in the participants’ management roles, focusing on quality, quantity, cost control and timelines. The project management session dealt with managing each phase of the ginger project — land preparation, planting, caring, harvesting, packing and selling.
Each ginger farming group has 25 farmers, for a total of 40 women and 60 men. This is the first collective farming project for the farmers. The groups will begin by planting 1 acre of ginger in April. A successful harvest will give each man and woman an opportunity to potentially double their annual household income!
Over the past four months, Just Hope International has witnessed great success in the Widow Empowerment program in Jeremie. The 25 self-employed entrepreneurs in Jeremie, Haiti, are generating an average of $13,500 in combined monthly sales with a profit margin of 45%. The program has instilled a new confidence and restored dignity to the widows involved. These results sparked interest and have led to the expansion of the program to Les Cayes, Haiti. Click here to read more…
Our Program Manager of Survival Skills, Liz Queen, traveled with Project Manager of Survival Skills, Carolina, to help launch our second year in the Dominican Republic. We are excited to continue working with our Survival Skills teachers, Harry and Joanna, and support them as they lead the program outside of the orphanage through our partnership with Orphaned Starfish.
Through the Survival Skills program, our 20 students will develop the life skills they need to take care of themselves. Gaining practical experience from our program’s curriculum empowers students to prepare for future employment opportunities.