WORK FOR FOOD DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC

YOUNG CASSAVA PLANT

Thanks to East Ohio and our devoted partners across the Conference, we were able to provide financial assistance for food to the Harrisburg Community during the height of the Ebola epidemic. Our motto is to always find a way to “EMPOWER” folks, instead of just a hand out. So we came up with the “WORK FOR FOOD” plan. This is how the plan worked. Rev. Modesco Siaker, pastor of St. John United Methodist Church in Harrisburg was in charge. He came up with the final plan after our many conversations; Farmer-to-Farmer had the land donated by the community that needed to be cleared for farming and construction of the Vocational and Agriculture High School.

So, during the height of the Ebola epidemic, travel outside the community was restricted; those community members with jobs couldn’t work, and many community members had no jobs, therefore the “WORK FOR FOOD” was a God send. Pastor Siaker would invite sixty to seventy community folks twice a week to work clearing bush to plant cassava. He and the women of the church would feed and pay them for that day’s work with funds sent from East Ohio. After the cut brush was dried enough to be burn, Pastor Siaker had some men burn the cut brush and prepare the ground for planting of the cassava sticks. And come harvest time, we hope to sell the cassava and leaves and use the proceeds to fund other Farmer-to-Farmer projects: like the Community Clinic that needs a lot of space to properly utilize the supplies we delivered in 2012.

YOUNG CASSAVA PLANT

YOUNG CASSAVA PLANT

 

FARMING IN HARRISBURG WITH NATHAN BRAUSE

Nathan tried to keep engine cool with foil

farming with nathan

Nathan Brause is a Corn, Soybean and Wheat Farmer in Bucyrus, Ohio. A good family man who is married to Carrie, they have three children; Alex, Andy and Allie. He is also a member of Bucyrus United Methodist Church where Rev. Michael Corwin is Pastor. Nathan traveled to Harrisburg in 2013 and 2014. He enjoys teaching the men of St. John United Methodist Church the modern art of farming when he gets the chance; but on both occasions now, he has spent more time getting the Ford tractor running than actually teaching the techniques of modern farming; because the men have a problem maintaining the tractor in good running condition. So, we put the tractor in storage until we return in 2015, with the hope that we will get a lot more farming done. Here Nathan is teaching the men how to use a simple tool.

Nathan showing how to use a small tool.

The soil is very rich and will grow much needed food for Liberians. According to Vice President Joseph Boikai, “it really doesn’t matter what you plant, Liberia needs to develop a strong Agriculture Sector.” We planted some corn and within 24 hrs, it had roots; in 72 hrs the crop blades were about 3″ above ground.

 

Five Day old Corn

 

 

 

 

Five Day old CornFive Day old Corn