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Issue: Health and HIV/A.I.D.S.

Release Date: June 1, 2009

Video Testimony: Jean-Baptiste Sankara

Photos: A. Seegers

Pass It On!

Pass It On!
Photos by Alexandra Seegers

The Ripple Effect

My happiness comes not only from my family, but from my entire community.  Africare’s support has lifted us from down to up, and now we are always moving up together!

June Feature StoryIn the Tillabéri Region of Niger, there’s one profession that reigns over all others:  farming. Millet and maize are the most popular crops, and 57- year old Ousseini Yade of Tera District has both. But two harsh seasons of drought and subsequent floods left Ousseini with virtually no harvest to sell or food to feed his family. He recalls this as an extremely stressful time.

“When I realized that there was not enough food in the house, I got out searching for some revenue to feed my family.  Sometimes I sell leaves that have medical value to generate income,” notes Ousseini.

But often times, it was not enough. So, to make ends meet, Ousseini’s family would cut down on the food they consumed during the “lean season,” virtually starving themselves in order to preserve seed for the annual harvest.

Africare’s Food Security Action Project in Tera (PASSAT) selected Ousseini’s household for project support after it was classified as one of the most food insecure households in the area, with inadequate food provision for about three months out of the year.

The project provided Ousseini and farmers like him with red bean seeds and agricultural training to make up for his food deficit during severe shortages. The interventions integrate sustainable farming practices that thrive even during unpredictable floods or dry spells, making food available to his family all year round. 

“Imagine that within a short time, we were able to benefit from the grains we sowed and eat it before the annual harvest,” notes Ousseini.  “I am now even in a position to assist others, which is fantastic!”

The ripple effect continues with the help of farmers like Ousseini who continue to teach and pass on their knowledge even though the Africare Project itself has come to an end.  During its lifespan in 2008, the project reached out to families in 15 villages in Tera District, improving food coverage for vulnerable households and increasing agricultural productivity with new income-generating opportunities for over 2,000 households. That number increases every day with the help of farmers like Ousseini who have taken “sustainability” to a new level by passing on their knowledge.

Become a part of the ripple effect. Keep their story going. Pass It On for Africare!


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