Celebrating international day of rural women we're proud to introduce the Ladies of Mabonkaneh the eighth village joining Hope Samuma, our self-governing co-op, swelling our ranks with another 21 women and 17 men harnessing the power of innovative volunteerism to grow a farm improving nutrition and food security in Sanda Magbolonto Chiefdom.
Diaspora volunteers, drawing their inspiration from EBAFOSA (eco-based adaptation food scecuirty assembly) and the agricultural and innovative volunteerism revolution sweeping Africa each bringing their different skill-sets to bear, working side-by-side empowering Sanda volunteers to grow rice to feed their communities and diversify into nutritious groundnut, cashew nut and cassava - drought-resilient crops to adapt to climate change.
These sons and daughters of the soil receive no wage or stipend they work because they've been given a hand-up not a hand-out - the tools and seed they need and our volunteers also know that their work is rewarded with a third of the harvest and seed for next year so understand the more successful their co-op farm, the more volunteers directly benefit.
We're proud that women have an equal voice and an equal say at all levels of Hope Sakuma - our co-op Director is a woman and every village has women chairs and deputy chairs - seen pictured above. Women help set and enforce our rules and women have an equal input into our farm plan - it was women who suggested diversifying into groundnut and now in the second year it looks like a bumper crop in is the offing - with a third saved as seed we're hoping enough to spread the word and empower more women farmers in Sanda Magbolonto.
The women also have some great ideas about processing their crops to help preservation and add value locally and already have a groundnut sheller and roaster to try out for this harvest. Now the Ladies have heard a whisper of a tractor and some say they want to learn to drive! On international day of rural women we whole-heartedly support this initiative, women are not so warm-headed as our brothers and so make much more careful drivers! An essential quality in any would-be tractor driver and something we're going to take to our District Agriculture Office.
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