Vulnerable people grow more food using a tractor and sustainable farming program
Timeline: 1 year
Community Engagement: 345
Anticipated Lives Impacted: 360
Ministry Focus: Holistic
Total Amount Requested: $63,001
In their own words:
“Before being helped, my situation and that of my children was not good. We barely had anything to eat and my children were withdrawn from school because I had no way of paying school fees. When the church helped us by paying the school fees for the three children and school uniforms, today they are enrolled in school. The church also gave us two bags of dura [sorghum] and I was given 200 Sudanese pounds to start [a] small business like selling tea, in order to earn a living, which has helped me meet my day-to-day needs.
—Hana Ibrahim, a 34-year-old female project beneficiary
Civil war in the former republic of Sudan led to a 2011 split in the nation and the formation of two countries, the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan. However, conflict continued and another war has since broken out. Sudan has an increasing number of internal refugees in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile region and Darfour. As people flee from unrest, they settle into refugee camps. The neighboring countries of Ethiopia and Eritrea are also absorbing many refugees.
War in Sudan has made thousands of children vulnerable, including those orphaned or living with destitute families. Constant conflict has hindered families from maintaining economic stability. The church, often a place where people go for assistance, is overwhelmed and in need of support as it responds to the growing needs of orphans, widows, refugees and displaced people.
The Diocese of Port Sudan, part of Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, will care for 165 orphans and 180 widows by expanding its agricultural production program with the purchase of a tractor. The tractor will enable the diocese to cultivate larger portions of land and provide families with employment as they weed, plant crops and prepare the land. In addition, the tractor will be hired out to establish another revenue stream for the diocese, with those funds going toward program overhead.
This project benefits 360 people:
- 345 people, including 165 widows and 180 orphans, will benefit from a constant supply of food as the diocese establishes a large-scale farming project. In addition, these beneficiaries will be encouraged by God’s Word and prayer during home visits by members of the diocese.
- 15 community and church leaders will take action inspired by God’s Word by identifying vulnerable community members and recommending them to the church for support.
The Diocese of Port Sudan owns 80 acres of land in Helfa and 100 acres in Gadarif, both of which receive heavy rainfall. The diocese has conducted agricultural projects in these areas, generally on a small scale, but in 2013 the agency was able to rent a tractor using funds from the Diocese of Bradford in Northern England and increase the scale of its work. With a tractor, the diocese is able to increase its yield of crops from 4 tons to 7 tons. Because those funds are no longer available, this project will enable the diocese to purchase its own tractor so it can continue large-scale farming. The diocese will no longer need to rent a tractor in advance, a process that has limited the program’s flexibility and capacity. In planning the purchase, the diocese has obtained quotes on three different tractors, which provides some budget flexibility.
To further increase farm yields, the diocese has an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture to supply the diocese with fertilizer and insecticides at a subsidized cost. The ministry will also send its staff to train farmers on improved agricultural methods. A large-scale farm program will position the diocese to provide food for the ever-increasing number of refugees living in its centers. Fifteen community and church leaders will visit the refugees’ homes to identify the most vulnerable and recommend them to the church committee overseeing this program. Each identified orphan will receive at least one bag of corn, sorghum and beans, and each widow will receive at least four bags of grain. In addition, these beneficiaries will receive psychosocial support from church volunteers, who will provide encouragement through God’s Word, especially among the orphans.
The diocese plans to rent out the new tractor in order to generate income – a minimum of $13,000 each year. This income will help offset overhead costs and provide the $2,400 annual pay for those working on the farm. (The tractor comes with a one-year warranty from the dealer.)
Measuring impact: The diocesan committees involved in this project will hold monthly discussions on project progress and provide the project officer with feedback. This officer will then compile quarterly reports on the project.
Architect / professional fees: $3,000
Research and evaluation: $6,750
Low: 1, Low/Medium: 2, Medium: 3, Medium/High: 4, High: 5
Concept: Risk Level 1
Conflict within Sudan and in neighboring countries has led to a high influx of refugees. Government programs are overwhelmed, and they are unable to meet all refugees’ needs. This project strengthens governmental efforts to provide for the needs of very vulnerable people.
Program Design and Experience: Risk Level 2
The Diocese of Port Sudan has experience working with refugees, although, due to a lack of resources, only on a small scale. The purchase of a tractor will enable the agency to increase this project’s capacity and work toward become self-sustaining. The project coordinator has training in project management. However, there remains a lack of clarity as to how beneficiaries will be selected by the implementer.
Leadership: Risk Level 3
The project coordinator has experience managing projects, and both the bishop and project coordinator have been working for the Anglican Church in Sudan for many years. They are in good standing within the community. Still, project success will depend upon the local church embracing such a large project over the long-term. Also, in order to achieve maximum results in the future, the diocese will need to hire people with technical expertise.
Financial Control: Risk Level 4
The Diocese of Port Sudan does not have externally audited accounts, although it has transparent methods of funds transfer. Last year’s total operating budget is much lower than the funds requested for this project. It is worth noting, however, that the funds requested are to purchase a tractor, rather than ongoing operating expenses, an approach that will in turn boost the diocese’s overall income from year to year.
Sustainability: Risk Level 1
The project has strong community endorsement and once the tractor is purchased, it will be hired out, again benefitting community members. The project will, therefore, not require further external funding to continue.
External: Risk Level 3
Conflict in Sudan and neighboring countries has dramatically affected this region. Any form of instability could hinder the progress of this project.