September Project Roundup
September 22, 2016
This is a busy season at Just Hope International! See what’s happening at our projects around the world…
The hard work of our Ghana team, as well as the success of the groups themselves, continue to attract people to the savings groups. They are now 529 participants strong, 268 of them women.
This month, our second savings group completes a full year-long cycle. We are excited to be able to celebrate this milestone with them in person, during a leadership visit there this month. We look forward to reporting their year one ROI with you soon!
The external demonstration plots are showing strong results in the form of noticeable differences in yields between traditional and conservation agriculture methodologies. One example is a recent yield of bambara nuts (an indigenous crop similar to peanuts or soybeans) where the harvest gathered from the mulched portion of a plot was significantly higher than the harvest from the unmulched portion. Farmers who have participated in conservation plots this past season are continuing in the process, and some are enlarging from 6×6 to 12×12 meter plots for the September-November growing season. This repeated participation and increase in land appropriation shows an acceptance of the methods, and perhaps early indication of adoption.
Bauya, Sierra Leone
The team worked hard clearing land for two important upcoming trainings: one, on groundnuts, that Jenneh lead for 33 women and 14 men, and the other, for bananas, that Joe and Sullay led for men who are representatives of the 11 savings groups in Bauya. We thank all of Team Bauya for the preparations they made for our leadership visit this month. Follow our work in Bauya to see updates from these trainings…
Lunsar, Sierra Leone
Team Lunsar has been very active this month. Three savings groups have formed and are beginning to take out loans. Blind farmers in the community of Katik are clearing land for the September-November planting season. Three new banana demonstration plots have been planted and another one planned. Two churches (Ebenezer and Good News) are planning their own separate, but side-by-side demonstration plots. It will be interesting to see if any friendly competition ensues over maintaining high standards and ultimately, who can produce the highest yields! We are seeing an increase in quality of work in the agriculture plots, which are currently producing maize, cowpeas and a variety of vegetables. It is important for the farmers to see the results from the labor of their hands and begin to take pride in that work and own it for themselves.
Our leadership team visit this month included a special gathering of the wives of the local pastors, who experienced a one-day retreat of encouragement and worship with Karen Bruton, our founder; Ashley Turner, the wife of our president; and Saffie Koroma, Foday’s wife. Jenneh attended as well, and conducted a training in groundnut cultivation for the pastors’ wives and for a group of widows in Petefu Bron. Follow our work in Lunsar to see reports from the retreat…
Jesse Shanks and his community have successfully installed a deep bore well (in partnership with another nonprofit) along with a solar pump. This pump will provide water for a theology school and the surrounding community. Jesse plans to implement agriculture training at the school and hopes the well will provide water for irrigation once that training begins. We ask for your prayers for this partnership. It is slow in its development, but we are willing to be patient and see how Just Hope can help empower the people of Togo. Follow the journey in Togo…
We have revamped the survival skills curriculum so that topics are presented in order of immediate priority: independent living, career training, co-existence, psycho-social training and health/nutrition. Based on the helpful feedback of teachers, many changes have been made to the content of the classes.
Karen Robinson has been hired to teach English to the survival skills students in Colon, initially for two classes per week. In Malambo, we are working diligently to get the older girls included in a program by Friends of Malambo, which includes workshops conducted by Deloitte and corporate introductions for potential jobs.
Raul and two boys traveled to Panama to fight in an MMA tournament, which was a positive experience for the boys. Please pray for Raul, who returned from that trip with an illness that has kept him in bed for several days.
The banana farms continue to do well and are providing jobs to 12-13 people each week in the maintenance stage of weeding, fertilizing and removing suckers.
We are currently exploring possibilities for projects in additional countries in Central America. We look forward to sharing more about these opportunities in the coming months, and we ask for prayers that God will introduce us to effective partners in these areas with whom we can work to empower people. Want to be the first to find out about new projects launching? Come to our 2016 Hand Up Celebration on November 15!