Sustaining Livelihood Through Subsistence Farming

Published on 27 June 2019 at 11:52

Whereas availability and access to sufficient food is important in ensuring sustainable and healthy livelihoods, some female headed households are not guaranteed to daily meals each day. The struggles for survival of families across Namunyuka village differ from households. Despite farming being the main economic activity, several families don’t have access to arable land for farming, they can’t afford daily meals or hiring land for a season as others do. The only assured means of survival is through offering their most productive time to work as Porters to cultivate gardens for some of the privileged members in the community in return for a meagre food ration from the garden.

Justine is an example of such a family. A single mother in her late 30’s with five children. One of the younger children is handicapped. Her daily struggles to provide for children have put a strain on her life and have rendered her incapable and sometimes hopeless. Her only prayer is if she could only have access to land where she can cultivate food; this would help her sustain her family for some period of time.

To Justine, access to daily meals is dependent on her ability to cultivate large chunks of other people’s gardens to earn only food. To achieve this, she sometimes involves her young children in cultivation as they move from one garden to another. Other basic needs that require cash transactions are very often neglected. Their needs are indeed more than food, they too struggle to cope with the burden of raising their children as single mothers. The daily struggles drain them emotionally, physically and mentally. They look overwhelmed, anxious and disgruntled with a sense of hopelessness.

YoChild-Africa is supporting Justine and other female, widowed household and families whose children are under our sponsorship program to gain livelihood through providing them with land to engage in crop farming for a specific period of time. With our already acquired land in Kiboga where we plan to build the school project, we have in the meantime provided this land to Hope and other families to have arable land where they can grow crops in one or two seasons as we finalise plans for initial school construction to begin.

YoChild-Africa has provided them with inputs and few square metres of the land where they can grow crops that mature in less than 4 months. We are happy to be part of the change and purpose renewed in the lives of these women.

Every Saturday we visit the farmland, pray with the families, and join them in the cultivation. Justine is getting social support from other women on top of having what to do for a living. We have plans to acquire land designated for this purpose to ensure sustainable food flow.

As we await the first fruits of their endeavours in a few months. We can sense a feeling of joy on the faces of these single women. They are taking charge of their life and will be able to provide food for their households in a few months’ time.

We are witnessing lives being transformed through this initiative. Even this little matters so much for them.

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