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Our link with Migori
This is the third year of our three-year commitment to sustainable development projects in Migori in Kenya, working with Ripple Effect, formerly known as Send a Cow. This organisation was set up by a group of dairy farmers in Somerset in 1996 and works with locally based partners in the six African countries.
By working in a mission partnership with Ripple Effect and 24 other churches, St. Mary’s receives regular updates about our chosen project and prayer points which we have circulated online. There have also been opportunities to talk directly to the project team based in Kenya, which has added a sense of immediacy and partnership.
Migori is a remote and challenged area in the Western Province of Kenya, where nearly half the population lives below the poverty line. Here, climate change has resulted in unpredictable rains and periods of drought, resulting in 4-5 hunger months per year. In hilly areas, trees are often cut down to provide charcoal to sell, which intensifies soil erosion. Sudden intense rainfall can wash crops away. Ripple Effect works with farmers in a comprehensive programme, which includes improving primary health care, livestock production, planting trees and orchards, providing safe and reliable sources of water and bicycles for cheap transport.
Our project support in 2023
In this third year of the Harvest Appeal for Migori, we are aiming to support farmers to build keyhole gardens. These help a family to grow enough food for three meals a day – even in the face of an extreme climate and poor soil. The gardens, shaped like a keyhole from above, encompass a circular raised bed with a central basket where compostable waste is placed along with wastewater from the kitchen. These enable farmers to grow leafy greens, beetroot, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, spinach, onions, garlic, and radishes, and give fantastic results quickly. This helps farmers to provide a balanced diet for their families, set up small businesses to sell surplus produce, and their children to concentrate at school. For every family supported, three more families are trained in keyhole gardening.
We have also teamed up with the Eco Church group, who hope to build a keyhole garden in the churchyard from October, so that you can see one in action, and with the aim of producing crops in the Spring.
Caroline has worked with Ripple Effect for three years. She has learned practical farming solutions that have helped transform her life.
“Before working with Ripple Effect, my children were dangerously malnourished. We had no money and food. One technique I have learned is how to create a keyhole garden. It is very good at providing healthy soil for growing. I am proud of the knowledge I have gained. Before, people would close their doors when they saw me because they associated me with borrowing. Now they ask me how I’m doing. Working with Ripple Effect has made me love myself and recognise what I can do to improve my living standards.”
How we are raising funds
Last year we raised £10,960. Let’s see if we can beat that amount! It costs £74 to build a keyhole garden in Migori and support three years training in sustainable organic farming. £11840 could fund 160 keyhole gardens and training in keyhole gardening for 480 families in Migori.
There is a donation point for the Harvest Appeal on the church website at this link, or you can donate by BACS transfer to Iffley PCC, sort code 20-65-18, account no. 50532827, reference Harvest Appeal. (This method avoids a higher transaction charge). Cheques can also be posted to the church office, made payable to Iffley PCC and placed in an envelope marked Harvest Appeal- a gift aid form is available in the leaflet, which can be found at the back of the church.
This year we are running two events:
- a talk by Donald Mavunduse, Director of International Relations at Ripple Effect at 11.30-12.00 in the hall on Sunday September 24th
- a harvest produce stall in the hall from 11.15-12.00 on Sunday October 8th
Further details of the events will be posted on the website and notices sheet from September 1st 2023
You can see more Information on the work of Ripple Effect in Migori by watching this recoding of a Zoo meeting with the Programme Support Officer for Ripple Effect Kenya, Alfred Juma, and Migori Programme Coordinator, Beatrice Were at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfmvk5W1Otg.
If you would like to know more about how to build a keyhole garden, visit: https://rippleeffect.org/how-to-create-a-keyhole-garden/