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It's Never Too Late

Life-changing initiative and training that will create positive change in the DRC.

Would the new techniques really work?

You’ve heard the popular phrase, “an old dog can’t learn new tricks” or, “old habits die hard.” We often use these sayings as an excuse for being set in our ways; never wanting, or even trying to change how we live our lives. 

Although they don’t use the same phrase we do, the elderly generation in the Democratic Republic of Congo often feel the same way when it comes to new farming techniques. Even though the majority of the farmers in DRC have experienced a decrease in their crop yield over multiple decades, much of the time, they react negatively to farming innovations. They say, “We have been farming for years. We don’t need teaching from young boys coming to us with theories from university without any experience.” 

The DRC continues to be a difficult place to live. Relentless conflict and hunger run rampant, and the two issues fuel one another. Insecurity spreads across the country, which drives population displacements, which leads to hunger. The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted life in the DRC by limiting trade flow in and out of the country, causing prices on essential goods to skyrocket. After such prolonged suffering with few flecks of light at the end of the tunnel, one starts to wonder what other options are available. .

Three elderly farmers who live in Malyo in the North Kivu province were some of those looking for new options. As they watched their land deteriorate over generations, it was time for a change. When their local church was hosting teaching on new agriculture techniques, Kahindo Kiyirembera, a 74 year old widow said, “In spite of my age, the decreasing yield of my field obliged me to listen carefully to the project staff and try to adopt what we were taught.”

Thanks to your contributions, Tearfund Canada has been able to partner with the local church to ensure the proper training and experience needed for success. Kiyirembera saw amazing results when she changed up her old habits! For her, the new methods led to increased fruits and vegetables, which meant she had more to sell at the market. More income at the market meant her family could begin saving to build a new house! 

Kawwere Lusenge, another 70 year old widow also testified the benefit of the training as she learned to plant native species that thrive in her environment. She uses her plentiful trees as firewood, but is always planting more to ensure they are sustainable. 

Muhindo Mukalangirwa Leonard learned that with 100% mulching, a farming technique he learned at church, his potato and banana field, which previously struggled, was now thriving! He explains,  “We can learn and change our life at any age.”

Because of donors like you, farmers in the DRC are learning it’s never too late to transform your life. Kiyirembera concluded with a smile, “The training has changed my life. Thank you, and may God bless you and those who sent you here.”

Help give farmers much needed climate adaption training

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