This year marked the 5th annual WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Tournament, sponsored by Blood:Water. Through this event, Lwala Community Alliance trains community members in WASH practices and provides education on HIV care and prevention. And, to participate in the tourney, players must first complete the WASH and HIV education program! This year’s numbers are [...]
At the age of 40, Joseph Asudi is married and has 14 children – 8 are still in school. This husband and father strives to provide a good life for his family and education for his children through agriculture.
Although Joseph is an experienced farmer, his road to increased productivity has had many challenges. In the past, Joseph’s farm often suffered from poor crop yields due to a lack of money to purchase pesticides and fertilizers. As a result, his crops died from disease, forcing him into a cycle of unstable and insufficient income. Joseph also believed agriculture was a seasonal activity, due to his understanding of growing sugar cane, and was often frustrated with his inability to afford tuition fees for his children during the low seasons.
But, a turning point for Joseph and his family came in early 2014.
Joseph joined the Kuna Micomucs table banking group, where members receive financial training, including mechanisms for group savings and individual credit building and business management from the Lwala Community Alliance Economic Development Team. They also attend regular meetings, interact and exchange ideas with one another and support each other in times of grief.
Micomucs is one of the many adult groups sponsored by Lwala Community Alliance’s partner Development in Gardening. DIG aims to empower communities through agricultural and financial training. This group meets weekly to learn about loans, debt management, and basic financial skills in business.
Having been educated in the ways and importance of saving, Joseph is ensuring a savings culture is passed onto his children. And, he now earns an income selling a variety of produce from his farm, including bananas, ground nuts and vegetables.
“Currently, I have more than 200 banana stems, which is the main source of income for my family,” he said.
Joseph is encouraged and motivated by the improved crop yield and enjoys ploughing his farm and watering his plants with the hope that enhanced productivity will continue.
His table banking group has not only empowered Joseph and his family with increased knowledge and improved agricultural output but has also enabled him to purchase higher quality seeds and fertilizer with the loan he receives from the group. This has helped increase soil fertility and productivity on Joseph’s farm as well as dramatically improved the health and quality of life for him and his family.
As Joseph continues to grow as a farmer, father, and husband, he feels empowered and is more confident that his knowledge will benefit his family and the community at large.