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HEAL Africa provides holistic care for the people of Democratic Republic of Congo
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Living Stones: An Agricultural Branch of HEAL Africa

Living Stones or Mawe HaiHealth and food are two driving forces that every family faces in eastern Congo. 90% of the rural people in northeastern Congo are subsistence farmers who survive on what they can grow. War disrupts the growing cycle for farmers, leaving families without an adequate food supply. To restore quality health, one must simultaneously address nutrition and food production. Without sustainable farming, there is no future. Without peace there is no farming.

Living Stones, or “Mawe Hai” in Swahili, is a special agricultural branch of HEAL Africa. Northeastern Congo is a rich agricultural area. This innovative program for food security introduces new farming techniques and seeds to improve food production for consumption and for profit. Increased production and profits enable local Nehemiah Committees to care for vulnerable populations in the community. Through its seed multiplication center, Living Stones also promotes reforestation and the growing of medicinal plants such as artemesia, neem, aloe, and cassia.

What Difference has it Made?

  • The Living Stones program expands by providing new seeds and exhibiting better methods of gardening to people whose livelihood has traditionally been agriculture. Communities invite the Nehemiah program and Living Stones to teach and accompany them.
  • Living Stones teaches skills and provides seeds, seedlings, tools and encouragement to hundreds of people. Widows are able to produce crops both to eat and to sell.
  • Widows, foster families caring for orphans, rape survivors, and expectant mothers receive training, small animals, tools and seeds.
  • The administrator for the Masisi Territory asked Mawe Hai to provide seedlings for reforestation: over 30,000 trees were planted in 2006 alone.
  • 96 Nehemiah Committee members completed a training course in improved agro/pastoral methods in 2009.
  • 8 new nurseries were initiated by Nehemiah Committees in 2009
  • 1,400 villagers were trained in improved agricultural practices in 2008

Imagine the joy of a widow caring for chickens, or rabbits. She now has a source of protein and an income, which she can use to send her children to school. A few rabbits can make a huge difference to a small family in Congo.

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