Rwanda is returning to a new normality after COVID, and at present no restrictions are in place.
For the project, we are adjusting to the reality of Fred's passing, and Jacques has risen to the challenge of having total responsibility on site.
The general price rise in Rwanda is being felt by everyone, and for the project, we will notice increased wages and general cost of goods.
WORK ON THE FARM
The dry season lasted from mid May til mid September. No rain fell in this period, and there is less activity on the farm. The most important task is to keep plants alive. No rain means no growth, so no weeding and nothing is planted. This year the interns made more robust shade constructions to protect the young, vulnerable moringa trees and were more attentive to apply mulching. This resulted in a higher survival rate. The coffee seedlings planted in February struggled and many died despite regular watering.
A worm tea bed is constructed on the farm. This is a composting system where "run -off" liquid (worm tea) is collected. On the farm the worm tea is used primarily on the coffee and macadamia as a pesticide and to strengthen. This worm tea bed will be used as a demonstration site for local farmers. Our aim is that farmers will collaborate to build a worm tea bed together. ( Picture below)
Fences are constructed around many macadamia trees. Farmers with little or no land are invited to plant crops between the macadamia but it has been a challenge to control exactly where crops are planted. Now the fences define where the root system is and prevent planting too close. (Picture below)
Compost heaps: altogether 25 large compost heaps are made on the coffee terraces. This is one of the ways we improve our soil quality as we have less manure from animals. (Picture below)
Maintenance; repairing the cement base around the homestead building, roof repair, fences, etc. Torrential rain and high winds leave their toll! (Pictures below)
The interns come as usual to the farm through the dry season. Their prime job is shading, renewal of mulching and watering. Yet another "trio" have successfully completed their 3 month internship period! We are so proud of Jacques who so diligently follows up and motivates these young students, making an immediate and lasting impact on their own and their families lives. (Pictures below - Certificate and harvesting peanuts (food for workers)
The microsavings capital provided in February has grown by an amazing 50%! Beans were bought at harvest time, stored and resold later in the season for profit. A truly successful business initiative:)
Cooking stoves: many have now built in their homes, not exactly like the prototype... but at least they're less of a hazard for children than a bonfire, and hopefully use less firewood. FRED'S FARM provided bricks, and a day's salary for each person who built one.
(Pictures below of two of the stoves)
Compost made in February was shared between all who helped make it. The villagers were able to grow beans and maize. In early September, 30 villagers met to make a new compost heap under JAcques and Providence's guidance. FRED'S FARM buys lime and pays for a day's work. There is a dire need to improve the soil quality in the tiny areas around the houses in the TWA village to make it possible to grow some food. (Picture below)
The last cows on FRED'S FARM were sold early September. This is the end of an era. We would like to thank all sponsors who have specifically supported the cow programme through the years. This programme lifted many, many families providing milk, income and knowledge.
Since 2018 we have been working towards a more sustainable way to provide milk through introducing dairy goats.
FRED'S FARM has lent a dairy goat buck to the village leader, Innocent, and an interbreeding programme with local goats is now in place. Jacques supports Innocent in his efforts to promote the programme in the community. So far 7 farmers have brought their female goats for servicing. This is a real milestone! (Picture below)
This is the season of high activity - to maintain, improve and develop the farm. This is the weather window to plant for short and long term; seasonal crops and trees which take 5 - 10 years to reach maturity. This is also the season for the farmers we invite to grow crops on FRED'S FARM to start their planting. This is the main crop of the year, the one which provides food for the family and the hope of some extra which they can sell for much needed cash for small essentials like salt, soap, in addition to school uniforms, paper and pencils for their children.
Jacques has prepared well and has both seeds, saplings, tools and more manpower ready to start. He is in contact with the school principal to prepare for planting moringa seeds at the school to provide more food in the future for school lunches.
THANK YOU to all who donate monthly, and to all who give now and again:) Your support makes a difference every single day!
Support the project. Use the Support button below😀
Back home after 3 demanding but fruitful weeks. Being present in person is a time for getting an overview of the status of the land, the staff, the animals, relations with others and more. It’s a time for decision making, for finding alternative ways to do things, to scrap “good ideas” and being open for “new ideas”. And prioritising. But perhaps most important of all, it’s a time to open our eyes and ears to the realities of the area we are guests.
The COVID situasjonen in Rwanda was “under control” and didn’t limit our work; organised test and self-isolation regimes and facemask use in public spaces. Rwanda reports the highest vaccination rate in Africa with over 60 % fully vaccinated. During our visit we had a meeting with the socio-economic development officer (SEDO) in the area. This area is one of the poorest in the country. After our meeting he went on his way to encourage people in “his” area to get their COVID vaccine, booster dose! An example of a just system!
We spent more time with the TWA, and felt a very positive change - it was easier to present new initiatives and more people were interested in taking part in “activities”. COVID was a very difficult time for them, many with limited or no access to food. Our farm foreman, Providence, told us many have realised the need to be able to support themselves in a different way than before i.e. they cannot just survive from day to day.
Collaboration with the school has also improved. The new school principal is forward thinking. He actively promotes helping his most vulnerable pupils and sees how FRED’S FARM is a tool to do this. The potential in the school garden, used for providing food for the school lunch, has been developed.
Experience has shown us that meeting “officials” can be challenging; time schedules, weather and changes in priorities. This time round, better planning and persistence gave results - we got to meet the “SEDO”, the district vet and the district agronomist. These people give us a good insight into government policies and how they affect the people in the area we work. In addition, together we are able to find better solutions to different challenges.
In general we can report many positive trends in the project 😀
Picture: The staff and day workers one day at the farm
Internship program for school children
This initiative started last year and functions as we hoped. All 12 students, past and present, were invited to the farm one Saturday. They told us about what they had learnt during their internship, and about their "business project" which the project has supported. Each described the short- and long term benefit for themselves and their families.
It was really heartwarming to hear how these young people are planning for their future by participating in savings schemes at the school and in their local community, by buying, rearing and selling animals, by planting fruit trees which will provide a cash crop in the future and making improvements on their home plot. The school principal also reinforced everything the pupils told us.
Picture: Interns transplanting moringa seedlings
Microsavings for TWA
The microsavings programme collapsed during COVID when, in despair, the TWA were forced to use the money to buy food. Twenty seven families now came forward to participate in the programme, 15 more families than before. We have provided new start capital. We encourage to save to enable more children to attend school. At the end of this year, we have committed to pay half of what it costs to send a child to school when the savings group pays the other half. In addition, short term loans are given to start small businesses, to buy essentials like salt or soap, medical treatment and more. Interest is paid on the loan. The group itself administers the programme. Pre-COVID this programme functioned well.
Picture: The newly selected committee for the Microsavings account.
Treatment of tungiasis, “jiggers”
Sixteen children from the TWA village were treated for jiggers. This was the first time we were witness to this painful condition. A small parasite enters the skin especially on the foot (between toes and beside the nails) causing local inflammation and sometimes infection. The school doesn’t permit children with this condition to attend school.
Picture: Treatment of jiggers
Sun powered lamps
The “lamp library” of sun powered lamps we supplied to the local school works well for both pupils and staff. The school secretary follows up, and no lamp has been lost so far. The lamps have been used extensively. Five of the 47 lamps are taken back to Norway for servicing.
The dairy goats are healthy and after 3 long years, we were in the position to start the interbreeding programme with local goats. This was initiated while we were there!!
FRED’S FARM now produces enough food for our goats:)
Picture: Happy goats running home after grazing on the farm
Cultivation on FRED’S FARM
Approximately 40% of all the land on FRED’S FARM is cultivated by local farmers and TWA. Those with little or no land for cultivation can ask for permission to grow. Each farmer gets access to land for one calendar year, 2 seasons.
The TWA have access to land all the time as they have no land for cultivation. It was wonderful to see first hand that the TWA now cultivate a much larger area than before, and it's better cared for. Jacques ensures the area provided has good soil as the TWA have no access to animal dung.
After much trial and error, we have learnt that it is a demanding process to germinate moringa seeds and to ensure they survive their first few years. They are very sensitive to too much rain and too much sun, and when transplanting seedlings, the slightest damage to their roots leads to the plant dying. Two terraces are now established “moringa terraces” with 2 different methods of planting. In addition moringa seeds were planted while we were present on the Demonstration plot.
The local population now have a genuine interest in moringa, and are eager to try to grow them. In addition, the district agronomist and the district vet asked for seeds. Moringa seeds will be propagated at the school garden in the coming weeks.
Picture: Moringa flowering on the farm
Food for field workers on FRED’S FARM
More food is being produced so we can provide “something” to eat at the midday break; avocado, papaya, tree tomato, banana, peanuts and more. The fruit trees planted in the past 4 years are slowly but surely reaching maturity and bearing fruit.
The demonstration plot
The interns have established a demonstration plot. The perimeter has fruit trees, shade trees and napier grass (animal fodder). Moringa is planted along paths. Various vegetables are planted; eggplant, sweet potato, peanuts, maize and beans. Also lemongrass. In addition we planted a trial area with new iron-enriched beans using 2 different methods; one method requires much less wood to stake i.e. less work and more sustainable in a land with limited wood resources.
Picture: Overview over the demonstration plot
Coffee and Macadamia
The coffee harvest this year is looking promising. Never before have so many bushes produced so many coffee cherries. Improved management and hard work are giving results!
The eldest macadamia trees planted approx 6 years ago, are now reaching maturity and have started to produce nuts. The youngest trees planted 2 years ago are very healthy.
Picture: One ripe red coffee cherry and many unripe green.
Picture: Macadamia nuts
It was a real disappointment to acknowledge the reality that all of the bamboo plants which were planted along small streams leading to the main river in the valley had been removed by farmers who cultivate along these streams. The district agronomist was ashamed of this act of “sabotage”. The reality is that the farmers see bamboo as a threat to their crops. So despite the fact that the local authorities gave us access to plant, farmers have attended meetings with Jacques and local leaders, the farmers themselves were employed by us to plant and weed, and our intention was to try to find business opportunities with bamboo, nevertheless the immediate need for food left the farmers uprooting the bamboo.
All of the bamboo planted along the main river are alive and well. In this area the government has a follow up system. In relation to soil erosion, this is the most critical area.
So now, we will plant some more bamboo in an area along a few small streams very close to FRED’S FARM. In this area Jacques has a good dialogue with the farmers. To plant on a larger scale for commercial purposes at this time will not be followed up.
Over the past 3 years we have planted and transplanted lemongrass around the homestead. It thrives. This time round, we dried it and also did a trial to infuse oil. The dried leaves can be used as a herbal infusion and the oil can be used as flavouring. Both are back in Norway and for sale, income goes directly to FRED’S FARM.
Picture: Infusing oil with lemongrass
New cooking stove
A prototype brick and clay stove was made at the farm. This uses 75% less firewood than traditional “3 stone” open fire, has markedly less smoke thanks to a very small fire chamber and is less of a fire hazard for children. Eight TWA ladies brought clay to make the stove, and participated in constructing it. Afterwards, Alice, the village leader built one in her own home and several others planned to make one.
Picture: Bosco very happy with the new stove
Picture: The TWA ladies helped with their knowledge to build the first stove
Compost at the TWA village
The TWA have maximum 2 metres of land around their homes. In general, the soil is hard packed and non-productive. To improve their soil, our agronomist, Jacques, invited the TWA to a training session at their village on how to make a compost heap. Everyone who wanted to take part could come - a strong motivation is that all who participate get a day’s salary. But in reality, every single person who came was active and interested.
As we approached the TWA village that afternoon, we saw black clouds approaching and heard thunder in the distance. The villagers had already chosen a centrally placed site for the compost heap, all the ingredients for the heap were gathered, and all 27 people stood ready for action with 4 machetes and 1 hoe. As the thunder and lightning grew closer, the tempo increased - never has a compost heap been constructed so fast! By the time the torrential rain arrived, and the thunder crashed around us, the job was complete. These short 20 minutes are a decisive step towards a hope of slightly more food production on the scraps of land at the TWA village.
Picture: Everyone helping to build the compost
Beehives and bees
Once the rain passed and the sun broke through, the bees from our beehives made their presence felt. A “buzz” was ever-present:) When built originally, the beehives were in an area away from human activity, but now the demonstration plot is close by. So beekeeper Alexander is looking for a new position for the hives, and the plan is to move them when the time is right:)
Pictures: Bosco and Daniel were very grateful for their new "wardrobe".
Picture: We met 3 of the 6 TWA kids we support at the school.
The children from the TWA village attend Bwama primary school. We've never visited there before. As we entered the school compound the rain was bucketing down and thunder was in the air. Dozens of children "flowed" around us, called "good morning, what is your name?", climbed into the window openings to get a better look at "mazunga" (white man) and, for the brave ones, tried to get close enough to touch our white skin with a tentative finger tip! Emmanuel, Fabrice and Divine from the TWA village have met us before, so they were happy to escape into the staff room to talk to us. They told us how they like going to school, all do well in their class and they like different things (maths, reading, football). On this visit we learnt that school lunch at this school is not free for the most vulnerable. So none of the TWA children had paid for school lunch, and hence got no lunch. From now on, the sum for lunch will be included in our support to each child.
Picture: We are helping to improve the school lunch supply. Here planting a macadamia tree.
Coffee for sale
35kg of green coffee returned with us from Rwanda. This time all the coffee is natural processed coffee instead of washed coffee. This gives a more complex flavour. Today the coffee was roasted at Cafe Le Frere, Søndre gt. by the owner Kjell Harry Lyngaas. He does this to support the project. Thanks !!
A mail will be sent out once the coffee is bagged and ready for sale.
Hanne and Sten
Summary of 2021 and plans for 2022
The year was marked by COVID-19 but we managed to keep all basic activities up and running. Arne Ivar from Trondheim was on a day visit to the farm in September. Otherwise, no visits from Norway.
The main consequences of COVID-19 on our activities:
Some statistics 2021
Twa's beans planted on the Farm Work on the Farm
We managed to balance income and the cost of our activities well in 2021. Due to COVID-19 only a small quantity coffee was available for sale in Norway, so income was primarily from donations. We prioritized providing work for as many as possible to give some income, initiating work like bamboo planting instead of giving more emergency food.
See annual report and annual account under Organisation tab for more information.
MORE DETAILS for 2022
In 2022 we are prepared for the uncertainty and restrictions COVID-19 imposes in Rwanda.
“Start-up package”: we have an overall idea to offer local farmers a “start-up package” with animals and plants which are optimal in relation to available land, resources and nutrition.
Support the school/more children to school
Cash crops: coffee and macadamia
To look after coffee plants and macadamia trees is labour intensive, so FRED’S FARM provides work for many. In the future the income from these cash crops will give income to FRED’s FARM project and cover most of the running cost. We are continually looking for better methods to care for these crops.
The bamboo planted last year to stop erosion of farming land in the river valley bordering to FRED'S FARM. These plants require follow-up over the coming year to establish a strong bamboo belt along the river. Once big enough, bamboo can be used as a building material for the farm and we will look into the feasibility of establishing a small bamboo workshop.
Picture- The six Twa children supportet by the project in their new uniforms, January 2022.
Thank you again for all the support to the project 😀
You can read about the project in SKJETLEIN school paper from december 2021
😃 Coffee trees look promising with lots of blossom.
😃 We are ready to start the interbreeding program with the dairy goats.
☹ Water supply was broken for 5 weeks in dry season.
☹ School still closed so no activity.
The DRY SEASON
The dry season, with no rain since May, is drawing to a close. During this period, for 5 weeks the farm has been without a running water supply. It was a challenge to source the problem and get it fixed. Our water tanks helped us for 2 weeks, but then we had to find new solutions to ensure our many seedlings and young plants survived. For 2 weeks we employed 5 people from the Twa village to help to collect water from the river approx. 2 km from the farm. In addition, our interns made innovative shade constructions to protect the young trees in the demo plot, see pictures below
Goal - to introduce schoolchildren to sustainable farming.
After very positive feedback from the first 3 interns, the school principal and our agriculturalist, Jacques, we've decided to continue to develop our internship program. Three new interns began in July; Elie Mutabazi, Janvier Niyomugabo and Pascasie Gatoyi. At this time of the year, their prime tasks are to assist and learn from harvesting moringa, pruning coffee and macadamia trees, worm tea application, and watering, watering and watering the 100s of needy plants!
We plan to initiate a program where the pupils who successfully complete the internship program on FRED'S FARM, train farmers how to cultivate moringa. This gives the pupils an opportunity to put into practice what they've learnt and earn some income.
Goal -to introduce a more sustainable form of milk production than cows.
We are now ready to start the process of interbreeding between one of our dairy goat bucks and local goats. This will be organised with the help of the local vet. All our goats have identity tags now, and written records are in place, so we are able to track the interbreeding process.
Altogether we now have 15 healthy dairy goats. Every day, milk is provided to the most needy in the area.
We have 3 mature males, but need only two; one to service our own females, and one to service the local goats. Our plan was to sell the third, and interested buyers had contacted us. But due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, this was not possible. So now we have lent one buck to a local farmer. The vet chose this farmer as he has forage and is interested in our trials to interbreed with local goats. With the vet's help, he too will try this.
Goal - to introduce moringa as a sustainable food source.
NOW we're ready to roll out a large scale "moringa campaign"! Top priority is planting at the Twa village, the school and to hundreds of local farmers. The pupils from the internship program will help us implement a training program for those who get the moringa plants.
The local leaders and school principal are eager to plant moringa around a large area close to the school. This area is used as a "football pitch", playing field, and a meeting place for the locals.
Seeds will be planted in the coming weeks once the rain starts. Some moringa tree seedlings on the farm died during the dry season but most are thriving. Leaves were harvested just before the dry season and people from the Twa village were invited to taste to get to know moringa.
DEMONSTRATION (DEMO) PLOT
Goal - to demonstrate how a small farm plot can be utilized for maksimum food yield, and least work, throughout the year.
The perimeter of the demo plot has now been established with approx. 100 tree seedlings; shade trees, fruit trees and moringa with napier grass planted in between. The interns have worked hard to keep these alive through the dry season by trying to provide shade, and by watering. Plans for more planting in the upcoming rainy season are made!
COFFEE and MACADEMIA
Goal - to create income for the FRED'S FARM to make it financial independent.
Next coffee season looks as though there'll be a considerably higher yield then before. The blossoming trees give us a good indication of this. The dry season is the season for pruning, so all our trees are pruned, and worm tea applied.
Goal - to empower and support Twa to be part of local society including children attending school.
The people in the TWA village are struggling due to COVID-19 restrictions, with no possibility to move to get work. But they've been permitted to gather mulching materials, and water for the farm, providing some income.
The present situation has highlighted the importance of prioritising making it possible for the Twa people to produce more food for themselves. This is planned for rainy season.
Goal - to support the school so the children get a better start in life.
There has been no activity due to COVID-19 restrictions. We will follow up of the moringa trees planted for food for schoolchildren and the lamp project when the school reopens.
COVID-19 restrictions continues to mark the community. The school was closed again at the end of July. Reopening is planned in October. Movement of people outside of their closest surroundings has not been permitted for the past months, but agriculture is a priority, so work at the farm is permitted. Hence we have tried to provide extra employment in this period; in addition to farming activities, we have carried out maintenance work and made improvements.
Arne Ivar is the first to travel to Rwanda since the outbreak of COVID-19. He will visit the farm, school and the TWA village and give us an updated status. He will also bring home some green coffee for roasting here. There will only be 30 kg so if you are interested to buy, contact us!
We have bought 10 T-shirts with FRED'S FARM logo to use when activities are carried out outside the farm, for example when the interns teach how to plant and follow up the moringa trees.
Do you want to sponsor 1 or more T-shirts. One T-shirt costs NOK160.
VIPPS (only Norway): 98539 and write T-shirt 😀
Thank's again to all of you who support the project. Without your contribution we could not continue our work.
MORE CHILDREN TO SCHOOL
In the past months more people now give monthly to the project, and we are especially grateful for this! But to have a predictable economy, we do need more. So we hope there are some more of you who will consider this:)
Bank account number: 4212 24 53957
IBAN: NO58 4212 24 53957 BIC/SWIFT: SPTRN022
Bank name: SpareBank 1 SMN, Postbox 4796 Torgarden, 7467 Trondheim, Norway
VIPPS (Only Norway): 98539
Update June 2021
+ The first Internship programme for 3 school pupils is completed.
+ Farmer training for 193 farmers is completed.
+ Goats, 3 new kids, and 14 litres of milk pr week to the most needy.
- Very poor coffee yield this season.
- Water supply was broken for 3 weeks.
The first 3 pupils from Kizi school have now successfully completed a 12 week internship programme on FRED'S FARM. Health insurance for 2021 was paid for all three. The small payment the pupils received pr week as a motivation to take part, left them able to buy school meals, exercise books and pens for school and clothes. With the final "savings" payment, all three bought animals which they plan as a "business" to help support their families. Marie Rose has bought a piglet, Emmanuel 2 hens and Evariste a goat.
Each pupil wrote a final report of 11 pages where they describe all the activities they participated in, and what they learnt which can be useful in their home setting.
These pupils come from the poorest families in the area - our aim is that their new knowledge will help lift the whole family and come a step closer to self-sufficiency.
The school principal and teachers have given us very positive feedback about the programme. Jacques has been motivated by the pupils' enthusiasm, their desire to do practical work and learn. Jacques has noticed the pupils become very tired, and suggests we reduce the number of days the pupils attend from 6 to 3.
We plan for a new group of pupils to start their internship programme on 03. July after exams are finished.
This activity is outside our budget - will you help support?
Total cost for one pupil for 12 weeks is approx. kr.450.
193 farmers participated over a 5 week period from mid April to mid May in a training day on FRED'S FARM. Jacques led the training session about making compost heaps without use of animal dung. Most of these small farmers do not own animals, and use "Yara" nitrogen fertilizer. All grow coffee on a very small scale. Gaining knowledge about alternatives to chemical fertilizer, giving them the possibility to aim for an organically grown coffee crop, something which gives higher sales prices. Several of these farmers have already started making compost heaps on their own property.
This is part of our program to give the farmers better knowledge in more sustainable farming methods.
3 new healthy kids have been born, providing more milk for yet another vulnerable family. Altogether there are now 16 dairy goats on FRED'S FARM. After more than a year of "trying", identity tags for the goats are now in place - all our goats have ID tags in their ears. This is another step towards putting in place a breeding programme with the local goats, which we hope know to start implementing in the autumn.
By breeding our dairy goats with the local goats, the aim is to provide goat milk for the local population. Goats require less land and less food to produce one liter milk.
The coffee harvest is finished, and it was the worst ever! After 4 years of intense work on the coffee, we must accept that most of the coffee bushes damaged by hail several years ago, have not recovered. So all the non- or little productive bushes are being removed, and in the next rainy season, September/October, we will replant.
Coffee is one of 2 cash crops on FRED'S FARM which in the future will provide income to run the project.
In May, the water pipe supplying FRED'S FARM was damaged in the village close to the farm. Three long weeks at the beginning of the dry season without access to fresh water is a long time. Our water tanks ensured there was more than enough for the animals, but watering plants wasn't carried out as we didn't know how long it would take to get the pipe fixed.
13 moringa tree saplings died, as did some newly planted napier grass (forage for animals).
Last week the pipes were fixed and the tanks filled - now we're ready to face the dry season!
Food for our staff
Food production on the farm for our staff has increased; peanuts, avocados and beans have been grown and shared with the Twa (pygmy population who live close to the farm). Fruit is ripening and will be ready for harvesting at the end of the dry season; bananas, papaya, tree tomatoes and passion fruit. Moringa trees are maturing and leaves provide nourishment.
We aim to provide some daily nourishment to our staff.
Movement between different areas in Rwanda has been prohibited from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 until the beginning of June 2021. For those who survive by doing day labour, it has meant little work, and little food. We have tried to maintain some jobs on the farm. For FRED'S FARM, this has made sale of the cows impossible and access to the veterinary surgeon has been limited.
In addition, nobody from the support team in Norway has been in Rwanda, so we have had no coffee for sale to support the project.
THANK YOU to all who have supported FRED'S FARM in this period.
Our basic activities have continued, and our extra activities have provided much needed employment to many living in extreme poverty.
We are especially grateful to those who give every month, providing a more predicable economy.
We do hope that some of you who read this will consider this option:)
At the moment we need another kr 2500 /month to cover our monthly cost !!
Bank account number: 4212 24 53957
IBAN: NO58 4212 24 53957
Bank name: SpareBank 1 SMN, Postbox 4796 Torgarden, 7467 Trondheim, Norway
UPDATE FRED’S FARM, March 2021
Yippee!! We’ve had a wonderful start to 2021! 😊
January 2021, we were very unsure about the coming year. Our thoughts were focused on how best we could keep activities functioning on and around FRED’S FARM.
Three months on, after many online meetings with Rwanda and much deliberations, we’ve managed more than expected. We have:
JIGGERS: We invited all with “Jiggers” in the Twa village to come to FRED’S FARM for medical treatment. Both children and adults came forward, in total 17 people. Enough funding for all 17 treatments was secured, approx. £20/treatment. Treatment of the parasite was carried out in February. In addition preventative measures were put in place; instruction in washing their feet with soap and wearing footwear. Both soap and footwear were provided. The condition is painful as the parasite burrows into the feet, lays eggs causing infection. The condition is also connected with shame resulting in people trying to hide from social contact. Children cannot attend school if they have Jiggers. The adults who were treated will in time be able to look after their families again.
INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME: Three pupils, Marie Rose Tuyishime, Emmanuel Rwabituku and Evariste Rizinde, were selected by the headmaster and began as interns in March. All three pupils come from vulnerable families in the area. The prime aim is to lift the status of agriculture and cultivation, and to get hands-on training in practical, sustainable farming. Gained knowledge can in turn be used in their home setting. They come to the farm for 12 weeks after school and on Saturdays. To motivate the pupils, they get paid a small amount every week. The students who complete this programme get a diploma and a small sum of money to start a small agricultural project at home.This is a pilot project which we shall evaluate at the end of May. The school is exceptionally positive to this project.
SCHOOL FOOD: 50 moringa saplings were given to the local school in February. The pupils planted the trees. In addition Jacques has ensured the pupils know about the high nutritional value moringa. Moringa leaves will in time be used in the school lunch.
DEMO PLOT: This area will have a large variety of perennial trees and plants which provide edible, nutrition - rich food through the whole year. In February we planted 10 mango, 10 avocado and 10 papaya seedlings. In addition 50 calliandra and 50 grevillea (used for animal feed, shade and ground cover) tree seedlings. There are already moringa saplings established in this area. All of these plants are trees, and will form the perimeter of the plot. In September, in the next rainy season, other plants will be planted.
This demo plot will function as an educational tool, an example of how a small holding can be planted to get maximum output. Farmers, school pupils and anyone else who wants, can visit this demo plot. The interns from the school are helping to plant, weed and care for it.
FARMER TRAINING: 50 farmers, including 30 people from the Twa village were invited to come to the farm for a teaching session on planting and caring for moringa. All 50 received two moringa tree seedlings each to take home to plant. They will be followed up by our agriculturalist, Jacques, and the district agriculturalist. Moringa trees, primarily the leaves, are very rich in nutrients.
BAMBOO: Over the past years we have been doing background research to start a bamboo project. Several organizations in Rwanda and elsewhere have been contacted, both to learn and try to find competent people to help us. In March, we carried out the first phase of the plan; 500 bamboo plants were planted in a 5m belt on a 2 km stretch of the river on Fred's land. This is done to prevent erosion and soil loss during flooding, a dramatic annual occurrence. We invited 10 farmers who cultivate land close to the river to work for us for a week to help plant, and learn. In addition we employed Patrick, a technician from the company where we bought the plants to train both Jacques and the farmers.
Once established, the bamboo is a valuable resource and can be used as a building material, as animal fodder and as fuel.
In addition to the 500 plants which are planted, we have a further 300 which will be planted in the near future in other areas close to Fred’s land which are exposed to flooding. This work will be carried out in collaboration with the local authorities.
SOLAR READING LAMPS: The solar lamps we gave to the school just before the COVID-19 lock down (and school closure) in February 2020, are now in use! These 47 lamps are borrowed by final year students, and some teachers. There is no mains electricity in this area. We will follow up use of the lamps to see if the system functions as intended. The lamp library was put on hold as the school was closed from March til December.
In 2021 we anticipate uncertainty and restrictions due to COVID-19. At present in Rwanda there are various travel restrictions between the different districts in the country. For us this means we can’t sell our cows as planned last year. Several people in different areas of the country have expressed interest to buy some dairy goats - this also is not possible.
BUT the school opened in December 2020, and daily workers in the agricultural sector can work.
A big thank you to all who have supported FRED'S FARM.
This makes it possible to keep the basic activities going and to develop. In this way we can support a large group of people who live in poverty, some on the brink of famine. As mentioned before, COVID-19 has made their situation extra challenging, and our continued activities have made an enormous positive difference in these difficult times.
In the past months more people now give monthly to the project, and we are especially grateful for this! But to have a predictable economy, we do need more. So we hope that there are some of you who will consider this:)
Bank account number: 4212 24 53957
IBAN: NO58 4212 24 53957
Bank name: SpareBank 1 SMN, Postbox 4796 Torgarden, 7467 Trondheim, Norway
Jippi. Vi har hatt en knallstart på året 😊
Ved inngangen til 2021 var vi meget usikker til det kommende året, og tenkte mest hvordan vi skulle oppretholde aktiviteter som allerede var i gang.
Nå etter 3 måneder med mange nettmøter med Rwanda og mye vurderinger, har vi oppnådd mye mere enn forventet. Vi har:
JIGGERS: Behandling av parasitten "Jiggers" (som angriper føtter) er gjennomført i Februar. Det ble samlet inn penger til 17 behandlinger (kr200/behandling). Både barn og voksne ble behandlet. I tillegg fikk de opplæring i forebyggende behandling, fotvask med såpe og bruk av sandaler. Samtlige var fra Twa-landsbyen. Tilstanden er smertefull og forbundet med skam. Det er en forutsetning at barn er fri for Jiggers før de begynner på skolen. De voksne som ble behandlet blir igjen istand til å forsørge familien.
INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME: "Lærlingprogram" for skolebarn. Hensikten er å øke status på jordbruk og å få opplæring i praktisk anvendvar bærekraftig jordbruk til bruk hjemmet. Elevene vil etter fullført program få en diplom og skal gjennomføre et prosjekt som involverer skole og hjem. Tre elever er plukket ut av rektoren på skolen. De skal være på gården i 12 uker etter skoletid og på lørdager. For å oppmuntre elevene til å komme får de betalt litt. Dette er et prøveprosjekt som vi skal evaluere på slutten av mai. Skolen stiller seg veldig positiv til prosjektet. Alle tre elevene kommer fra de mest sårbare familiene i samfunnet.
SKOLEMAT: Utplanting av 50 Moringatrær på skolen. Bladverket skal brukes i maten som barna får i skolelunsjen. Elevene selv plantet trærne. Skolebarna har også fått informasjon om Moringas ernæringsverdi.
LESELAMPER: Solcellelampene vi ga til skolen rett før COVID-19 i Februar 2020 er i bruk! De 47 lampene lånes nå ut til avgangsklasseelever og noen lærere. Vi vil følge opp bruken av lampene for å se at det fungerer etter intensjonen. Prosjektet var i dvale i fjor etter skolen ble stengt Mars til Desember.
DEMONSTRASJONSGÅRDSHAGE: Vi har startet etablering av et område på FREDS FARM. Dette området skal fungere som et eksempel på hvordan et lite jordstykke på en gård kan være. Dette skal brukes i opplæringsøyemed. Området plantes med et utvalg av flerårige vekster som gir spiselige, næringsrike vekster gjennom året. Bønder og skoleelever kan besøke hagen for å se hva og hvordan en liten jordlapp kan plantes best mulig. Lærlingelevene skal delta i dette arbeidet.
FARMER TRAINING: 50 bønder, inklusiv 30 personer fra Twa landsbyen, ble invitert å komme til gården, til opplæring i planting og stell av moringa. Samtlige fikk 2 planter hver hjem med seg. De blir fulgt opp hjemme av vår agronom, Jacques, og distriktsagronomen. Moringa trær (primært bladverk) er et viktig bidrag til å bedre ernæringstilstand.
BAMBUS: I flere år har vi vurdert å sette i gang et bambusprosjekt. Vi kontaktet mange organisasjoner for å lære og for å finne kompetente folk å hjelpe oss. I mars er det gjennomført den første fase dvs. planting av 500 bambusplanter langs en 2 km strekning langs elven på FREDS FARM. Dette er gjort for å begrense erosjon og tap av jord i flomperioder. Ti småbønder som dyrker jord langs elva på FRED'S FARM ble ansatt for å plante. På sikt ønsker vi også å kunne benytte bambus som et materiale for forskjellige aktiviteter. Tre hundred planter var til overs. Disse skal plantes i samarbeid med lokale myndigheter på flomutsatte områder langs elva som er i nærheten av FREDS FARM.
Også i 2021 forventer vi usikkerhet og ulike restriksjoner pga COVID-19 i Rwanda. I skrivende stund er det fortsatt bevegelsesrestriksjoner mellom distrikter, noe som fører til at vi ikke kan selge kyrne som var planlagt i fjor høst. Positivt er det at den lokale skolen åpnet desember 2020, og at jordbruksarbeidere og dagsarbeidere kan jobbe i nærområdet.
En stor takk til alle som har støttet FREDS FARM. Dette gjør det mulig å holde prosjektet i gang og videreutvikle det. På denne måten hjelper vi en stor gruppe mennesker som lever på randen av sult og fattigdom. Som tidligere nevnt, har det vært ekstra vanskelig pga COVID-19 så vår aktivitet har virkelig gjort en stor forskjell i denne perioden.
I denne perioden har flere blitt faste givere, og vi er veldig takknemlig for det. Men
for å ha en forutsigbar økonomi, trenger vi flere. Håper flere ser det som en mulighet:)
Her er bankinfo for å sette opp fast overføring:
VIPPS : 98539 Bank : 4212 24 53957
Et nytt år med nye muligheter!
Under finner du en kort oversikt over 2020, og våre planer for 2021. Våre mål er de samme: Forsoning, selvberging, flere barn på skolen og bærekraftig jordbruk.
Året var preget av COVID-19 men vi klarte å holde alle basisaktiviteter i gang. Under vårt besøk til FRED'S FARM Januar 2020, var det lagt et godt fundament for året. Dette hjalp mye selv om året ble veldig annerledes.
Hovedkonsekvensene av COVID-19 for vår aktivitet:
Følgende klarte vi å gjennomføre:
Kaffe og Macademia
Kaffe og macadamia er fortsatt en utgiftspost og vil være det i mange år. Men å jobbe med disse gir arbeid og kompetanse til mange. Fire nye personer ble fast ansatt for å passe på de 200 nye macademiatrær som ble plantet i januar. Et nytt kompostsystem er etablert for å sikre nok tilgang på jordforbedrende organisk materiale.
Vi holder oss flytende og har opprettholdt aktiviteten i prosjektet hele året. Etter iherdig innsats og mange gavmilde givere så ble det samlet inn kr. 170 000, utenom kaffesalg på kr. 30 000. Dette er ny rekord for prosjektet. Noen av pengene var øremerket nødhjelp. Dette gir oss en buffer på kr 50 000 når vi går inn i det nye året. Flere velger nå å gi faste månedlige bildrag, noe som gir mer forutsigbarhet. Pr. dato får vi kr 7000/mnd i faste bidrag. Vi trenger i tillegg ca kr 4000 /mnd for at det skal gå rundt. Vi håper flere vil vurdere faste bidrag 😊 .
Bilde fra nødmat distribusjon i mai 2020 får stå som minne fra året som gikk
Her er en oversikt over hovedaktivitetene for 2021:
Også i 2021 forventer vi usikkerhet og ulike restriksjoner pga COVID-19 i Rwanda. I skrivende stund er det fortsatt bevegelsesrestriksjoner mellom distrikter, noe som fører til at vi ikke kan selge kyrne som var planlagt i fjor høst. Positivt er det at den lokale skolen åpnet desember 2020 etter å ha vært stengt i ni måneder.
Støtte skolen/Flere barn på skolen
Å passe på macadamia og kaffe gir arbeid til mange, og på sikt blir dette en inntekt til prosjektet. For at flere får kunnskap og bedre økonomi, har vi ansatt fire nye personer innenfor de samme økonomiske rammene som tidligere, hvilket betyr at det nå jobber åtte istedenfor fire. De jobber annenhver uke.
Dette er et nytt tiltak vi jobber med. Tanken er å plante bambusplanter langs elvebredden på FREDS FARM, for å begrense erosjon og tap av jord i flomperioder. På sikt ønsker vi også å kunne benytte bambus som et materiale for forskjellige aktiviteter. I 2021 jobber vi med å få lokale partnere på plass for å kunne gjennomføre den første fasen.
Twa-barna i sine nye uniformer startet på skolen 04.01.21, får stå som et tegn på håp i 2021.