Rural Community Development Blog - Rural Community Development A Community Transformed Pastor Frederick lost both of his parents to malaria when he was just 14 years old. While he was fortunate to be cared for by relatives, they didn’t have enough money to send him to school. Life Before Conservation Farming Despite his difficult beginnings, Frederick grew up to be a pastor; he is now head of Chosen Evangelical Revival Church. He is married with five children and, before joining a Farming Group he farmed four acres of land; one acre of Eucalyptus, one of sugar cane and two of maize and cassava. Despite having a relatively large quantity of crops, these was not usually enough food to eat, and there was no spare money for scholastics or medicine. Life After Conservation Farming – A Typical Day A typical day for Pastor Frederick starts at 5 a.m., when he wakes up to start farming. He tends to his crops until 1 p.m., when he returns to lunch. His afternoons are devoted to ministry work; he returns home for his evening meal at seven, after which he rests. The nearest bore hole is 1km away; his children assist in collecting water every day. Frederick had high hopes for his Conservation Farming training and hoped that it would bring him and his family food security, help him to send his children to school, improve crop yields and improve his income potential. He was delighted when he was chosen as Farming Group leader and he is keen to do his best for his community. Today, Frederick has enough food to feed his family three meals a day. Three of his children are in education – one daughter is studying at university. At the moment, Frederick can’t afford to send his two younger children to school, but he is hopeful that he will be able to in the near future. A Family Transformed “When I returned home after training, I planted 7 acres of pumpkin. The crops were good; I took 4 big pumpkins straight to the farming trainers to thank them for all they had done for me. My family has changed its farming methods – we are hopeful that we will now always have enough food to eat and I have been able to send one of the children who was at home to school. I hope that the other two will follow shortly. I used to do things without involving my wife and children; thanks to the communication training I received, we now we plan together, which has improved my relationship with my family.” Building Communities “Back at my church, I trained pastors and eleven community members to change the way we farmed. As a result, next year we will plant 30 acres of maize. “It wasn’t long before some government officials, district officer and chairman visited me. They liked what they saw and promised to support our community activity; they also invited us to create a plan for the sub-county in Kaliro.” Before training, I was a good time waster. Now I know how to balance my time in church, with the community, and with my family. “I also learnt how to resolve conflicts and how to reach the younger generation; the training opened my eyes and I went home determined to plan a vocational school. I am working with the trainees that graduated from Kira Farm Development Centre; I want to invite them to share their skills with their friends in the community and spread the impact of their training. “All of my training, including my leadership training, have helped me to be an effective leader in the community. As a result, the local government are working well with us, because they trust me as a leader. We are seeing community transformation – I never dreamt that my training could have such a big difference to so many people.” We are constantly amazed and proud at the incredible impact that Conservation Farming training has on the lives of entire communities. To find out more about Conservation Farming, or to find out how you can support our programmes, click here.