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Pastoral Interlude: Hope in Manays, Food Secuirty in Sierra Leone

Mama Mayila’s visiting Manays, Sanda Magboloto Chiefdom, Port Loko, witnessing progress on our sustainable food project; thanking the village for their dedication, delivering food security for our Interim Care Centre and foster care programme and hoping to see a community come together to form a new food co-operative.

Back in March, inspired by the innovative volunteerism and EBAFOSA (Eco Based Adapatation Food Security) programme sweeping Africa, we came to find out how we could help this one village - Manays, Sanda Magboloto Chiefdom, Port Loko - become sustainably food independent and we learned from the people of Manays that it doesn’t take so much - some food for labour, some seed to plant, access to fertilizer at the right point in the growing cycle and some small improvements for community drying and storage – this one village needs a hand-up not a hand-out.

We're only a small ngo but we managed to raise funds enough to plant some 10 acres of rice and 5 of groundnut (peanut), binch (beans), corn and pepper. We chose our seed carefully, a Nerica especially bred for Sierra Leone. And we came to a fair agreement splitting the harvest 3 ways – 1/3 for the community; 1/3 for seed (so we can double the hectares planted) and 1/3 to feed 190 children, orphaned by deadly Ebola at Hope ICC, Moa Wharf and Kissy Town.

GROUNDNUT AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE! The Ladies of Manays, Sanda Magboloto Chiefdom, Port Loko were so impressed with Mama Mayila getting down and weeding with them but Mama Mayila was even more impressed by these Ladies hard work - groundnut growing to the horizon - and now the plants are big enough to easily identify, the women weed.


Now, last time we visited in May, we talked with the farmers about climate change causing less rain and how the village could diversify growing cassava, a drought resistant crop and one that preserves really well as gari, flour and foo foo, something which could provide extra jobs and income. And the village have taken the discussion to heart – what a cassava farm this will be! And as you can see, with the good black earth mounded up in beds ready for planting, fertilizers aren’t needed, all the algae are dragged to the top and compost naturally.

TRYERS WILL TRY These Ladies really know how to say thank you! Here, the Ladies of Manays, Sanda Magboloto Chiefdom, Port Loko are just receiving news that we're donating 300,000 Leone for them to to open a bank account and hope to raise 500,000 Leone to register their new joint co-op with the boys.

And the Ladies share some great news - their ranks have swelled, in 6 short weeks, as people hear there is work in hand to benefit everyone and so the Ladies now number 38 and the Boys, 35 - we love gender balance and love it even better when the Ladies are in the ascendancy!


Maybe you'd just like to hear the Ladies of Manays sing for you and enter the Manays story, maybe you fancy your name inscribed on the old school house or maybe you just want to give this one village a hand up. Help us help this one village become food independent and provide food security for 190 really vulnerable kids please donate to our Farming Fund:

Donations received this summer will pay for the co-ops registration, provide a new drying floor for rice and peanuts and make some improvements to the old school house to make it a community storage facility.

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