Through off-season gardening, tree nurseries, and education, Samaritan’s Purse is helping a community in Niger develop a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
In a rural village in Niger, our staff recently equipped farmers with training, seeds, Acacia and Moringa trees, and support to grow foods that are nutritious and can be sustained in the region. It was the village’s first step toward agriculture techniques that will provide food and income for their families during the long dry season in West Africa.
This village is one of countless communities across Asia, Latin America, and other parts of Africa that struggle against malnutrition and starvation. Harsh climates, poverty, and natural disasters are adding to their suffering, and their needs are urgent.
Samaritan’s Purse is working hard to help. In villages around the globe, we’re providing agricultural training and resources, livestock, food, and more.
In Niger, we’ve discovered that many agricultural communities can’t grow enough food during the four short months of rainfall. Families face malnutrition and poverty during much of the year.
We praise God that, because of the support of Canadian donors, the dry season is becoming fruitful for many farmers and is improving diets and income for their families. Acacia and Moringa trees are hardy. Their leaves, bark, seeds, and pods are all useful, and Moringas provide a particularly valuable nutrition boost-including calcium, iron, protein, and vitamins-for families.
“We have seen the health of our children improve,” one woman gratefully told us.
Physical and Spiritual Transformation
The tree nurseries are also helping families generate a small income year-round, including during the dry season-a dreaded period of the year. Moringa trees’ leaves, when ground into a powder, are sold to patients at the local health center and to others as a source of nutrition. Many women in the village are part of a saving and loans group that Samaritan’s Purse helped organize, and have invested in these trees to better support their families.
“Before this project, we knew nothing about the Moringa tree or its importance,” one woman told us. “Now each woman in our group has about 15 trees that she cares for, which has really helped us.”
Other villages have witnessed the change taking place in this small community, and have come to investigate. Their questions have been answered from a Christian perspective, after conversations with our staff about God’s love for them introduced many in the village to Jesus Christ.
“Jesus is the source of all our success,” the villagers tell visitors.
Along with sharing their testimony of God’s provision in their lives, the villagers are teaching others the important nutritional value found in the trees and the health improvements they could also enjoy.
“Now we see clearly and know what we can do,” said one elderly farmer, whose 15 children have benefitted from the tree nurseries. “Thank you!”
Communities throughout the developing world are being transformed by Samaritan’s Purse agricultural projects, which are helping provide nutrition and fight starvation, while equipping families to provide for themselves.
But millions more still urgently need your help. Please join us with your prayers and donations, so that countless more farmers can experience the benefits of help given in Jesus’ Name and come to know Christ, “the Lord of the harvest” (Matthew 9:38, NIV).