By Lizzy Aitken, an intern in the Samaritan’s Purse Democratic Republic of Congo office.
Under the threat of rain, we scrambled up a hill, unaware of exactly what we would find on the other side. As we followed behind the village chief and a group of farmers, we soon came upon the fields they had been tending as a part of the Samaritan’s Purse strategic agricultural partnership program.
[button url=”#donateBottom” color=”green” align=”right”]Give to Help a Poor Farmer[/button]As we rounded the curve, fields and fields of beautiful, green cabbage nestled in neat rows greeted us. These were not ordinary cabbages. These were the biggest cabbages I had ever seen!
The village chief, Kababo Diodenne, led us to the highest field. It overlooked each of the other projects. He began to thank our group and Samaritan’s Purse for what these agricultural initiatives have done for his community and the families who live there. He explained that the people in his village had fled from violence in their community and had been living as internally displaced people.
Recently, they had returned to their homes, but they were still unsure of how they would provide for their families. The seeds and training provided by Samaritan’s Purse allowed them to grow cabbages that they can eat and also sell at the market. When this project was originally presented, many of the men in the community were doubtful that it would work, and only seven men were willing to give it a try. Now that people are seeing how successful these men have been, more are beginning to clear fields so that they can take part as well.
Chief Kababo lost both his father and his grandfather in the war, so he became chief at a young age. Initially, he was fearful about assuming this leadership role, but the success of these cabbage plots is empowering him and his fellow villagers. The Samaritan’s Purse program is providing hope to people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo whose lives have been so tragically affected by displacement and violence.