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