How Suffolk can step in to help farmers in east Africa this Christmas
This Christmas the East Anglian Daily Times has teamed up with Farm Africa to help end hunger in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Lauren Everitt explains how you can make a difference.
Eight out of 10 people rural Africa scrape their living from small plots and soils are often poor, with drought ever near.
Most farmers have less than one hectare of land and struggle to grow enough food to survive.
That is why the East Anglian Daily Times has teamed up with the charity, Farm Africa this Christmas and is today calling on its readers to help farming families in eastern Africa to end hunger and build a brighter future.
Farm Africa has worked in eastern Africa for nearly 30 years in a bid to end hunger by providing smallholder farmers with specialist training and tools so they can grow more food in ever more challenging circumstances.
It also brings in disease-resistant native crops, drought-busting techniques and skills that make tough farming viable, profitable and sustainable.
EADT editor Terry Hunt believes the people of Suffolk and north Essex will want to help support impoverished families in eastern Africa as Christmas approaches. It provides an opportunity for us to think about those less fortunate than ourselves.
He said: “Farm Africa does vital work to provide basic skills and equipment to farming communities in eastern Africa and that is why I am calling on you, our readers, to show your support for African farmers.
“Your support can help them grow enough food to feed their families so that they do not have to face the daily struggle of not knowing where their next meal is coming from.
“Over the next five weeks the EADT will feature stories and photos from communities in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania and projects ranging from farming and livestock, to fisheries and forests.”
Last year alone, Farm Africa’s work improved the lives of more than one million families.
Nigel Harris, Farm Africa’s chief executive, said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity, through the pages of the East Anglian Daily Times, to connect readers in Suffolk to the daily lives of farming families in eastern Africa and the challenges they face.
“Please get behind this appeal that will do so much to give farmers the start they need so they can grow themselves out of hunger for good. Thank you on behalf of all the communities that your donations will help to support.”
As part of the newspaper’s partnership with Farm Africa, reporter Lauren Everitt travelled to Ethiopia last week for four days to see the charity’s projects in action.
She met some of the impoverished rural communities who work with Farm Africa to talk to them, hear about their families and learn about their hopes for the future.
Over the coming weeks she will provide eye-opening and emotive first person accounts of how the charity’s projects have transformed lives in practical ways, helping farmers to take control of their lives for the first time.
She said: “I can’t wait to share the experiences from my life-changing few days in Ethiopia.
“It truly was a thought-provoking and eye-opening trip making you realise and appreciate just how much we have in our every day lives compared to the impoverished rural communities.”
Her features will tell of women’s tears of joy at machinery to help them harvest crops in just an hour instead of the days it normally takes them, of families having enough money to send their children to school, of affording to buy food to eat and of children playing on the rubble road with a punctured football that was their pride and joy.