LUV’s holistic approach to preventing human trafficking includes the foundational pillar of protection. We provide safe housing, food and nutrition, clean water, and preventative and emergency medical care for vulnerable children and women who have no other options. We understand that these necessities establish a foundation for life and serve as vital resources for building community.
Living in one of the most food-insecure countries, indigenous leaders at Our Father’s Cleft (OFC) named strengthening their farming initiative as a primary goal in protecting children from exploitation. LUV seeks to find ways to support these innovative indigenously-led visions at each location through logistical support, technical training, strategic planning, and financial backing so those goals can become a thriving reality.
During a recent visit to OFC, I was excited to travel with Bryan Pride, Director of Technical Programs from Rise Against Hunger, who joined our team to help us take the next step in investing in OFC’s food security dream. Bryan surveyed the land, tested the soil, learned more about current agriculture practices, and provided crucial technical support to a community in desperate need of sustainable food access.
For example, we arranged for a small group of five to ten staff members to meet at the fenced-in demonstration garden on the OFC compound. The topic: how to use local cow manure and ash to enrich soil for growing leafy green vegetables in any climate.
Frankly, I wasn’t particularly excited about attending an event on composting cow manure in 104 to 113 degrees average temperatures,but I am so glad I did!
When the demonstration began, there were ten of us present. Then 20 students joined, then 50 students, and suddenly we looked around to see over 100 observers. Without any formal announcement or invitation, word had spread across the campus that a new farming technique was being taught. As Bryan shared new composting methods using local materials, he was peppered with thoughtful questions from the hundred onlookers. Adults and children excitedly leaned in to try to capture every word that was spoken. They were watching so intensely that several sections of the fence nearly collapsed! Some of the children eagerly invaded the gardening area to pick up scraps and enthusiastically joined in by practicing the new techniques. I was even caught up in the moment and eagerly shoveled several manure piles! It turns out we were all hungry for new ideas.
The next day, I saw a large group of older students spontaneously building small compost piles and seedbeds with no adults guiding them. When you see a school-age child running towards hard work, you pay attention!
LUV invests in long-term, transformational development through empowered indigenous leadership. Over and over, we heard how excited the local leaders (and students!) were to use these training sessions to take the next step forward in their long-term plan to diminish reliance on food shipments. With their hunger to learn, fierce determination, deep love of agriculture, abiding faith, commitment to hard work, and trust in God — I am confident they will succeed.
Your partnership helps us invest in these local dreams and ensures that formerly vulnerable children and women are empowered to become agents of change in their own lives and communities.
Make a gift that will sow the seeds of transformation today and grow a hopeful future!