What if planting a fruit trees, or in this case 500 of them, could create peace in a war-torn country? Through our work with SEA Partners and their initiative Farming for Peace, we are helping the people of South Sudan gain the necessary skills to provide for themselves and their families.
At Vende Digital Our Vision is to Make a Difference
While we are passionate about helping our clients, we are equally passionate about helping the world around us. Doing good, helping the oppressed, and seeking justice are words that we live by.
Each month a portion of Vende Digital proceeds go to supporting four global human aid empowerment initiatives. One of those initiatives, SEA Partners, is focused on the needs of the people in South Sudan helping them gain the skills needed to provide for not only themselves but also their families. This last month we were part of purchasing 500 fruit-bearing trees that will bloom year-round to provide ongoing resources for the people.
The Boma Project
For the last 50 years, the people of South Sudan have been in almost constant conflict. This history of conflict has created a society that is not only dependent upon the aid of relief organizations but also has created a generation that lack employment or training.
To know where they could begin helping, SEA worked to identify an area in which to focus their efforts. After months of investigation on their part, they identified a tribal community located in the southeastern corner of the country called Boma. Boma consists of four villages with a combined population of approximately 50,000. These four villages are both isolated and impoverished.
The Environmental Impact of Conflict
Combined with the constant conflict, relocation and forest depletion have created an environment of food insecurity and malnutrition. Even those who once lived in the more fertile Upper Boma had to relocate to the less fertile Lower Boma in order to access aid supplies.
Between the wars, conflict, and dependence on welfare, crop production in the area has been reduced. Forest depletion has caused soil erosion. The Nile watershed has struggled with sediment build-up. This environmental impact extends far beyond the community of Boma. The Boma Mountains are one of the primary water sources for the Nile River, and any impact of the river could be felt throughout the region. Millions of people depend on the Nile River for drinking water, irrigation for farming, and electricity.
Why Fruit Trees
SEA Partners developed Farming for Peace to help the people of South Sudan transition from emergency relief efforts to recovery intervention. By implementing Peacebuilding through Environment SEA Partners is working to expand the agriculture production in Boma and to implement an agroforestry program.
Agriculture production has the benefits of leading to food security for the people of Boma, employment for the citizens, and providing the stabilization that the environment needs to prevent any further erosion.
One thousand acres of farmland can employ 1000 people through the Farming for Peace project. As part of that 1,000 acres of farmland, 750 acres are, or will be, planted with cash crops. Those crops can be used as food security and they can also be harvested and sold for income. Fruit trees will be one of the items planted within the cash crops area. The plan specifies that 5000 fruit trees will be planted, and, this last month, Vende Digital was part of purchasing 500 fruit bearing trees towards that goal.
The Next Generation
The farmland also includes a demonstration farm where farming techniques will be taught to the community as a whole so they can each raise their own crops for food. Harvesting some of the farmland has already begun. Recently 20 acres of maize, beans, and cassava were harvested and used to provide food for the children in the schools.
Speaking of schools, while jobs are created and the environment restored, another focus will be building primary and secondary schools for the children in Boma State. Creating a sustainable education program and focusing on training the next generation in an effort to reduce the high illiteracy rate currently in South Sudan is a primary objective.
We can’t forget the efforts to preserve the Nile watershed. Beyond the farmland, additional plants. including eucalyptus trees, will be planted to help preserve the watershed of the Nile. While the trees will help the Nile, eucalyptus oil will also be extracted through the leaves.
Vende Digital employees are passionate about making a difference. Helping the people of South Sudan in their efforts to gain skills, training, and food security align with our vision to make a difference in the world around us. We hope that you will join us in our efforts to do good and help the oppressed.