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Gardening helps women in Darfur create new lives, despite continuing turmoil

In the Darfur region of Sudan, fighting has forced millions into temporary camps, threatening food security. World Vision is providing emergency assistance and agricultural training, helping women rebuild their lives.

July 2009



Mariam Abdalla (left) and Fatima Omar happily show off part of their harvest from the vegetable garden they tend at the Galdi community farm in Sudan's South Darfur region.
Mariam Abdalla (left) and Fatima Omar happily show off part of their harvest from the vegetable garden they tend at the Galdi community farm in Sudan's South Darfur region.
Photo ©2009 Dan Teng'o/World Vision

Mariam Abdalla and Fatima Omar are proud of their vegetable garden. “My children get their food from here,” says Fatima, who is one of 60 women participating in the Galdi village community farm.

'Life was tough'

Galdi is located in South Darfur, a region in the African country of Sudan, where conflict between the government and rebel forces continually threatens food security. For the women who live there, the opportunity to grow their own crops is a dream-come-true. “I used to get food rations,” says Mariam, who spent the last three years depending on food aid.

In 2005, when the village was attacked by rebels, Mariam was forced to flee her home and seek refuge at a camp for internally displaced persons. “Life was tough at the camp. I had no proper house, no bed, [and] no land to till,” she says.

Returning home

Donate Now.
Help World Vision continue to provide food aid and emergency relief to children and families affected by conflict in Darfur.

Despite these difficult conditions, Mariam survived, thanks to food rations distributed by World Vision. After one year of living at the camp, the turmoil in her village calmed down. Along with nearly 10,000 others who had escaped the fighting in Galdi, Mariam returned to the land she once called home.

World Vision immediately became active in the area, providing food and vital necessities for those who were rebuilding their lives. After six months, World Vision’s team transitioned from simple food aid distribution to agricultural assistance, working to improve long-term food security. Families were given seeds and tools, and women like Mariam and Fatima were encouraged to work together to establish a farm.

Rewarding work

Fatima works in the vegetable garden, where a variety of crops are grown.
Fatima works in the vegetable garden, where a variety of crops are grown. "I love working at this farm," she says.
Photo ©2009 Dan Teng'o/World Vision
“I have learned a lot here,” says Fatima. World Vision trained the women on vegetable cultivation and provided them with plants and seeds. They were also equipped with an irrigation system that provides the farm with a steady supply of water. Today, they are cultivating a variety of crops, including watermelon, okra, onions, and tomatoes.

“I love working at this farm,” says Mariam, as she weeds and waters the garden. “I get free vegetables here.” The farm is so successful that the 60 women are growing enough food to eat and have extra to sell for profit.

“We’ll be happy to make some money from our hard work,” says Fatima. If crop sales go well, the women expect to earn as much as $10,000 this year, most of which will be used to continue developing the farm. “Other women want to join our group because of the fruits of our hard work,” she adds.

A new start

Mariam proudly displays some of the vegetables she harvested from the garden at the Galdi community farm.
Mariam proudly displays some of the vegetables she harvested from the garden at the Galdi community farm.
Photo ©2009 Dan Teng'o/World Vision
Though their lives were once in turmoil due to the conflict in their country, the farm has given these women a chance to start over. Thanks to the help they received from World Vision, Fatima and Mariam no longer need to depend on food aid.

In addition to supporting the farm, World Vision has worked to improve water and sanitation and established a health care center for the returnees in Galdi.

Conflict continues

Unfortunately, Galdi is one of only a few relatively peaceful pockets of South Darfur. The continuing conflict, which began in 2004, has forced more than 2.7 million people to leave their homes and seek shelter in temporary camps.

World Vision remains committed to providing assistance to nearly 500,000 displaced people in Darfur who, unlike Mariam and Fatima, have not been able to return home.

Three ways you can help


>> Contact President Obama. Thank him for spearheading a global response to the hunger crisis at the recent G8 summit, and ask him to ensure that we fulfill our pledge.
>> Donate now to World Vision’s Sudan Food and Emergency Relief Fund. Your gift will help provide food, water, and medical care for women like Mariam and Fatima, who are struggling to survive and rebuild their lives.
>> Give monthly to help provide assistance for children affected by war and conflict around the world. Your support will help World Vision deliver life-saving aid to children who need it most, such as food, clean water, health care, trauma counseling, and more.

Forward to a friend

Three ways you can help

Contact President Obama. Thank him for spearheading a global response to the hunger crisis at the recent G8 summit, and ask him to ensure that we fulfill our pledge.
- -
Donate now to World Vision’s Sudan Food and Emergency Relief Fund. Your gift will help provide food, water, and medical care for women like Mariam and Fatima, who are struggling to survive and rebuild their lives.
- -
Give monthly to help provide assistance for children affected by war and conflict around the world. Your support will help World Vision deliver life-saving aid to children who need it most, such as food, clean water, health care, trauma counseling, and more.

 





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