"From the agriculture income, I am sufficiently feeding my family," says the grinning 48-year-old, a garden hoe slung across her firm shoulder. "I saved money for seeds and fertilizers, and I paid for iron sheets to cover my house."
The mother of eight credits her success to membership in the Tuendeni (Swahili for "let us go") Agriculturist Association, which World Vision manages in Lumata, located in the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Her son, Mususu Olivier, 13, is sponsored through our Kapemba project area, whose staff oversees 33 such self-help groups in this rural area, helping families to improve farming techniques.
"Before the start-up of World Vision in our area, famine was part of the daily life," Sonnie exclaims. "We had to go to buy food 40 kilometers [about 25 miles] away; a very huge number of children were often affected by 'Kwashiorkor' [severe protein malnutrition].
"Food was very expensive and not always of good quality, until World Vision introduced its support to local communities..."
A primary World Vision initiative in sponsorship programs located in farming areas is to invest in long-term agricultural development. This helps ensure the community's sustainable food sources, also one of the best means by which to address the current global food crisis.
World Vision's agricultural assistance and training in places like Lumata can include the provision of:
In West Africa, for example, we are working to accelerate the adoption of innovative tree-based farming, including the experimental use of Australian Acacias and the Moringa tree, or "The Miracle Tree."
"Moringa has many amazing properties; however, the one that stands out to me is the fact that even before the rainy season commences, and while temperatures are still very high, Moringa starts producing nutritious leaves in abundance when there is nothing else growing," says Tony Rinaudo, World Vision's natural resource management adviser in Australia.
"In fact, in many villages, Moringa is the only food available that keeps people going before staple grain crops ripen."
>> Thank God for the people of Lumata, Congo, who were able to transition from poverty and famine to self-sustainability through World Vision's agricultural assistance program. Pray for relief for children and families around the world suffering from the current global food crisis.
>> Donate now to provide seeds, tools, fertilizer, and other types of agricultural assistance to hungry families around the world. Your gift multiplies five times in impact to help provide the tools families need to grow their own food.
>> Sponsor a child. World Vision sponsorship provides additional assistance to children during times of crisis, like the deepening food crisis, and helps families to grow or buy more food through ongoing development efforts.
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