We planted, watered, harvested and shared

Corn Nearing Harvest – Nov 2020

After years of significant land loss for individuals, organizations and communities, access to affordable and productive farmland of any size is one of the greatest challenges in re-designing food systems that ensure access to food for all, throughout the year.

As a sustainability strategy for our community food distribution program, we are learning how to grow 70-90% of the food we share with food insecure households on a monthly basis, on leased farmland.

We saw an opportunity to continue helping our neighbors with food through leasing both small and large chunks of land from local owners, and using it to grow food for our food pantry.

Since we planted our first garden patch in 2016, our food pantry has already made a tremendous impact on the local food movement in rural Jinja villages. Every week, Emma works with Jacob and Simon to fulfill the growing demand for freshly harvest food grains in our communities of service. Growing our own food cuts down on the costs transporting grain from other regions of the country, ensures the integrity of the food we distribute, and our locally grown grain foods can be found in the kitchen food baskets, cooking pots and dining mats of our neighbors across several neighborhoods.

In addition to improving access to freshly harvested grain foods in the communities we serve, we are also learning to act as a resource for other nonprofits with a similar mission of alleviating hunger among the children, pregnant women, the elderly and sick in their communities in their communities.

A shared meal produced through shared toil is a powerful tool for engaging in hope and change.

Soon enough we will share with you what we and our sister organizations are growing, and what else we should be growing to feed our communities in need.

A Message to Carry Forward

Soybean harvesting- Dec 30th, 2020

Psalm 65:11. “You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.”

What I always knew but really didn’t and have learned to do better and to experience more, is that truth is not worth a whole lot until its is applied. As a rural non profit every year has began and ended in endurance fueled by much love. At the end of each year, we sigh at the reflection that love never fails. During this COVID-19 year, we were dismayed to learn that the COVID-19 virus shapes itself in the likeness of a crown.

As things got tougher all over the world, including our little corner of the world, opened the Book and got to studying. We learned about other crowns, real crowns, crowns we can celebrate like the one in Psalm 65:11. “You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.” So we agreed with, and were more excited about this kind of crown than the latter. We set our minds to believing that regardless of the limits set on our work and world during the pandemic, we would continue to draw from the inexhaustible wells of goodness, love and kindness.

A crowned year for us required taking a restful position in the midst of crisis, and and realizing that because there is no way of switching on or off darkness the way we switch on light, the answer to our ministry needs and resources lay in switching on an many lights of love, courage, hope, goodness, love, peace, patience … as we could. As a great preacher once taught, “darkness is a result of the absence of light.” (Pastor TD. Jakes)

From God’s wells of goodness deposited in every human heart, we have experienced some major turnarounds during this crisis.

  1. An increase in donor support
  2. An increase in in-kind support
  3. Enlargement in our agricultural capacity
  4. A multiplier effect in the dollar value of all monies for spent on medicines, nutritional supplements, and other aid and digital supplies to families in critical need.

Given how impossible it is to explain how a plate of shared cookies can bring more hope to a group of friends than all their money and material possessions combined, I will not go down that route.

What I can say with certainty, is this…. love is a “miracle cure” however it presents itself. For some of you this love and care presented as money, for others as medicine, food purchase, food delivery, food preparation, forwarding our fundraiser campaign to friends and family, a handmade quilt, a laptop, protective gear, blood pressure testing machines and I could go on and on. What am I trying to do here? I am trying to paint the picture of the abundant supply we have experienced this year 2020. Do you see it?

Instead of breaking ourselves with trying to fight and avert the negative threats and potential outcomes of COVID-19, we relied on your lighting a candle for those in our world.

Where panicked purchases and hoarding resulted in vicious cycles of shortages, we are grateful that your open hands and hearts not only kept the necessary resources in circulation, but also created the safety and security needed to stay afloat.

Yesterday December 30th, we began our first successful soybean harvest. In deed God has blessed us. Our farm carts are overflowing with abundance. There will be yet more food in the bowls of many families in 2021.

We hope you recognize the tremendous value of investing your charitable dollars with us.

With gratitude for your generous heart,

Pamela Mukaire

The Ebenezer Thanksgiving!

August Red Peanut Harvest

A Blessed Ebenezer Thanksgiving to You!

THANKSGIVING is a great day to be sharing what we have been enabled to accomplish in the past months.

Looking back, we are grateful that we have been guided well in the past years, as only God would have known what the years ahead would look like, and prepare us to serve the needs of our time in meaningful ways.

When we started seriously investing in farming four years ago, we were excited about the challenge ahead of us –  revitalizing and building the soil to ensure the healthy life-forms of our ecosystems, to better serve our human friends and neighbors in need.

We had no doubt that the answer to creating food sources was right where we were – in our local gardens and mini-farms.

The next three years threw us a busy learning curve of learning the dimensions of the challenge of raising food, processing, storing and distributing it, while sustaining the soil.

Year four, we focused on increasing yields. Little did we know that of the harvest of that year, would be a greater need to share our food with many more due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last few months, we have worked through yet another set of challenges, related to farming during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many farmers, COVID-19 has exacerbated economic and mobility challenges leading to significant impacts on agriculture, food and the rural vulnerable communities that we serve. Despite of all these challenges, our farms continue to thrive, thanks to our friends, partners and sponsors.

God has turned us into Harvesters of Hope, and for this we sing with joy!

The stories in the next few blogs , recap the much we are grateful for.

You can start our “Harvesters of Hope” video.

Thank you for being part of our care family.

Dr. Pam Mukaire

A life shared …..

By Emmanuel Kasomba 

Quite often, we despise the power and impact of a simple touch, a listening ear, a smile, an honest compliment, a simple word of prayer, a small act of sharing and caring, but a combination of these creates the ability to transform and turn around a life. Nurse Benardette and volunteer Joan, in the picture above attend to Petraline during the RIBHO monthly home visits. She is an 80 year old lady who is so happy about the services extended to her by the RIBHO volunteers. Some time back when we had just started visiting her, she was so lonely because she stayed alone at her small house. But one visit after another, one food package and then another, a prayer here and there …we started noticing incremental positive changes. Then one time we went to visit her as usual, but found everything totally different. She was clean, smart, happy and healthier, and even more, God had sent her daughter in law and first grandchild to visit. She now has family to share her goodies with and lives an extremely happy life. Truly we serve a God of wonders and miracles.

“God remembered me.”

By Victoria Kateme

Francen an old widow from kyamagwa village, Jinja could not believe that God remembered her. In her own words, “having RIBHO volunteers in my home with food packages month after mother is the most visible sign of God to me.” Francen, has been staying alone and struggling to make ends meet without any support for years.

At the age of eighty, with feeble knees and hands, she still moves slowly to and from her vegetable garden patch, planting and weeding whatever she can to grow to make a meal and simply survive. During the June RIBHO home visit, her blood pressure was a bit high, she reported general body pain, paralysis in her left hand, and itching eyes among other pains and aches.

For two years now, RIBHO has consistently visited her every month with groceries and a nurse to give her a medical check-up and provide pain and blood pressure medications. Following RIBHO volunteer visits, other locals took interest too, and started helping her as well.

France is very appreciative and always grateful to God for choosing her among the many people that RIBHO supports. Sometimes she even dances for us, the volunteers upon arrival at her house. The support, love, care and prayers given by the RIBHO volunteers has enabled her to live a better quality of life. What she says she appreciates the most is, “helping me to have a renewed image of God as loving me, and accepting again that Jesus loves me and care for me, and will receive in glory when my time comes. I prayed for a sign for God to remember me in my old age, and you young people came with food, smiles, medicine and you still come. If God could do that, I am now confident that Jesus will also receive me in heaven when my time comes. I am happy. I am very happy.”

For a long time Francen lacked a personal pit latrine. Her kind neighbors sympathized with her and allowed her to use their latrine for many years. However, last year, following RIBHO’s example, a Good Samaritan in the neighborhood constructed a personal pit latrine for Francen, and she was saved from that embarrassment of having to go to the neighbors. Her home is now lively with a good number of grandchildren who have resumed visiting.

Two years ago, Francen was a community reject. Today the favour of the Lord draws people she does not know to support her. She has been a blessing to behold.