Uganda

In Uganda: From little seeds, great things grow

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Written by Alan Whelan on Wed, 2009-12-23 15:53

Imagine a little packet of seeds and the basic tools to allow a person to plant them properly in the soil and tend them as they grow. Imagine that so little can create the means by which a family can grow enough food to feed itself.

People's right to food does not simply mean the right to be fed. It means the ability to produce enough food to eat and to trade or sell. And that's the transformative nature of Trócaire's Global Gift Christmas plan.

From such a small beginning, people given seeds and tools through the generosity of Irish donors have turned those seeds into fields of crops that nourish and sustain; that keep people energetic enough to work and sharp enough to concentrate in school.

In Uganda, a land that was ripped apart by conflict, thousands of families who fled to camps in fear of their lives are preparing to return to their ancestral lands.

They want to cultivate those lands so they can raise their families in peace and security.

From Kilongo camp in Pader, Uganda, Matthew and Alum Banya and their family of six have begun to plant crops on their homeland in preparation for a return home later this year. Matthew and Alum received the gift of seeds and tools from someone who chose to buy it from Trócaire at Christmas time.

This family lost three children to malaria in the disease-ridden camp, where they spent seven years. They constantly went hungry and didn't even have enough clothes to dress properly.

Matthew and Banya are so looking forward to returning home. They want to protect the rest of their children, send them to school and provide for them. Dry weather has destroyed some of their crops already; but they will grow enough to eat themselves this year and next year hope to plant more. One day they will have enough food to sell so they can earn money and become self-reliant. Thanks to that little packet of seeds.