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Reaping a Harvest in Liberia

SAMARITAN’S PURSE IS TEACHING INNOVATIVE AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES TO VULNERABLE WOMEN IN LIBERIA THROUGH OUR RECAL PROGRAM. THE WOMEN ARE ALSO LEARNING ABOUT GOD’S LOVE AND PROVISION FOR THEM AND THEIR FAMILIES.

Watta harvested more than 10,000 cucumber and bitterball crops this year in Liberia’s Lofa region. While those are impressive totals, she has even higher hopes for the pepper and corn crops that she’ll harvest in a few weeks.

She’s learning how to farm better thanks to the Samaritan’s Purse RECAL program. The previously unfruitful soil of Kpokulo — her home village — now yields bountiful crops.

She scoops up handfuls of the nutrient-rich earth and lets it sift through her fingers. She’s never felt so much promise about what the future holds for her and her five children.

“I actually have hope now,” she says, finally flashing a big smile. “This isn’t something I have had before. We just expected to suffer until we died. Now I know how to plan for the future, because there is a future.”

Cultivating a Future Hope

The Samaritan’s Purse Liberia RECAL Project (which stands for the Rehabilitation of Ebola-affected Communities through Agriculture and Livelihoods) helps meet physical needs among Liberians by teaching them efficient and sustainable farming techniques to produce a greater variety of nutritious food.

This includes season- and soil-specific ways of cultivating the ground and protecting crops. Participants learn how to protect seedlings and young plants in raised beds before transferring them to the field. They also learn the importance of allowing certain plants to grow in cloth bags to control soil quality, erosion, and exposure to pests.

Students also are instructed in how best to store and inventory plants after harvesting. Wise financial practices are emphasised to strengthen future planning and growth for business.

Growing Out of a Painful Past

In recent decades, a dark cloud descended on Lofa and on the region’s villages like Kpokulo.

Liberia’s years of civil war sowed bitterness and despair into the people of Kpokulo. After this came the Ebola outbreak, leaving behind thousands of graves, widows, and orphans.

The Lofa region, once considered Liberia’s breadbasket, experienced food shortages as growing and harvesting were stilted by civil unrest and disease.

The resulting waves of despair have led generations of people to believe they’re abandoned, even cursed. As Samaritan’s Purse meets physical and spiritual needs the people are seeing life in new ways.

Bringing the Community Together by Christ’s Love

Fahmata, mother of four, also lives in Kpokulo. She said she’s experienced a lot of challenges but in spite of them she gives God glory.

A few years ago, Fahmata’s husband left her with her four children and no way to provide for them.

Through RECAL she was able to make a farm behind her house, growing bitterball, watermelon, and cucumber. This farm provided food for her family to eat and also crops to sell. Her husband has since returned, and they are now united as a couple again.

“My hope for the future is to send my children to school,” Fahmata expressed. “That was never possible before. I dream that they will become leaders for tomorrow.”

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Through our Gift Catalogue you can help farming families grow corn in Bolivia, rice in Cambodia, sorghum in South Sudanese so everyone is fed well through our many different Livelihood Projects.

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