Farming and Finance

Just Hope is working through an established network of pastors who are meeting the spiritual needs of their communities around Lunsar, Sierra Leone. The pastors share our belief in economically empowering people to help themselves. We are offering agriculture and financial training to these pastors, so they are equipped with the tools and information they need to go out into their communities and empower people with the ability to produce and manage income.

Current Needs

The big news in Sierra Leone is the long-awaited launch of the Seed Loan Program. We thank God for the work of our team on the ground as they conceived and planned the program. We pray that the farmers embrace the program and are able to effectively use it as a hand up to increase their household income.

As teams in Sierra Leone gear up for the launch of the new seed loan program, we pray that those involved in this endeavor continue to uphold the high standards of conservation agriculture techniques to ensure the highest potential for success. We ask God to lead our teams through the upcoming planting season.

We ask God to continue to bless Pastor Simeon Sesay of the Mile 38 Baptist Fellowship in Lunsar as he engages students and teachers in compost training.

We praise God for the successful start of two new Savings Groups in Bauya.

We praise God for the success of the Gbotima women’s group’s groundnut harvest. It was so successful the women are excited to continue testing the techniques they have learned.

We praise God for the wonderful yields we are seeing as the end of the second growing season approaches. These visible successes bring more farmers who want to learn.

We pray for our team in Sierra Leone and their communities, as they develop relationships and identify potential advocates for savings groups and agriculture training.

We thank God for the excellent work of teams in Lunsar and Bauya as they integrate savings groups and agriculture plots, and continue to improve our processes in the field.

We pray for prosperous demonstration plots, and for farmers to be open to trying methods that are new to them.

Most Recent Updates


The Gbotima Women’s Group’s Groundnut Plot Success

  • Agnes, Bauya, Sierra Leone
Agnes Lamboi stands with her arms full of groundnuts, pure joy on her face because of the yield. Agnes was one of many women who participated in Jenneh's groundnut training last fall, and for demonstration purposes, they planted a 6x6 meter plot in the middle of a two-acre field planted in groundnuts using traditional methods. At harvest time, it was visibly obvious the difference in the yields. In the second photo, Jenneh holds handfuls of the groundnuts planted using conservation agriculture methods, and in the third photo, Joe holds handfuls of groundnuts planted using traditional methods. Not only were there more nuts on the roots in the demo plot, but the nuts were much larger and heavier. Read more about the Gbotima women's group...

Francis’ bean plot

Francis poses with his model bean plot in Lunsar. Because of the simple, tactile processes, the agriculture methods taught by Just Hope are ideal for farmers with blindness or other physical challenges.

Successes, failures and fences

Shanty and John continue to work hard and report both successes and failures. Sadly, one savings group has decided to stop their weekly contributions because of trust issues and pressures from family members. We are hoping they can overcome these difficulties and have offered assistance. The other four groups continue to contribute and grow in their understanding of the savings and loan process. Overall, the agriculture projects are doing quite well, with only a few snags here and there. Because the rains are beginning to slow at the end of the second growing season, increased irrigation is becoming necessary, and pests in some locations are becoming a problem. The biggest pests of all are the goats. The solution is building fences; unfortunately, farmers are not always willing to commit the time for their construction. At Just Hope’s model plots in Lunsar, we are preparing to plant living fences of Jatropha curcas as an example of a more sustainable solution to the goat problem.

Savings and crops grow

In recent weeks, John and Shanty have created a more organized system of agriculture training in Lunsar. Savings group activity is beginning to pick up, with five active groups representing 114 participants, of which 75 are women. Still in their infancy, the savings groups soon will experience their first share-outs. The agriculture program now includes 20 active model plots with 35 extensions. The high number of extensions tells us that members of the participating churches and communities are impressed with the activities and results of the models and want to see what the impact might be for them personally. These model and extension plots, which represent 45 farmers, are cultivated in bananas, pineapples, maize, cowpeas, okra, groundnuts, cucumbers, peppers and watermelons. This represents great diversity in crop selection, which lowers risk for farmers while presenting more market opportunities and value.

Encouraging women

During our leadership visit, Just Hope Founder Karen Bruton and Ashley Turner, wife of Just Hope President Ben Turner, spoke to a special women’s conference held primarily for the Baptist Pastors Wives Association of Sierra Leone, a group of about 50 women who traveled to Lunsar from all over the country. The conference theme was “Encouraging Women,” and it most definitely did that. Employees and locals liked seeing that we all have a woman boss! That alone spoke volumes about our belief in the ability of women to lead their communities. Read more about our work with women in Sierra Leone, and Ashley's personal account of the conference.