Refugee Outreach Collective (ROC) is fundraising for our Sustainable Agriculture program. Organized to address food insecurity in Dzaleka, a United Nations refugee camp in Malawi, the Sustainable Agriculture program has three major components:
- Instruction on farming techniques
- Crop cultivation
- Consideration of the social, economic and environmental impacts of agriculture
So far, we have raised $1,300 of the approximately $2,700 needed to run the program. In order to cover the remaining four months of base costs, we must raise $1,400. Any additional funds raised will boost monthly pay for program organizers, all of whom are experiencing statelessness either in Dzaleka or are living in the surrounding Dowa District.
Thanks to the generosity of Echo, an agriculture nonprofit based in Tanzania, and Bishop Charles, an experienced Malawian farming teacher, students in the program receive practical instruction on how to farm. Short online videos in French and Swahili show students how to farm vegetables. A teaching assistant, who has attended similar classes in Dzaleka, expands what was taught on the videos and answers any questions the students may have, while Bishop Charles provides instruction on cultivating soybeans in the field.
Students then have the opportunity to grow on their own in the Echo Vegetable Garden in Dzaleka and a soybean field located a 10 minute drive from the camp. As students maintain their crops, a theoretical component of the program explores the concept of food security. Students will also examine the global challenges of climate change and resource depletion, as well as movements for sustainability within agriculture like the Green Revolution, “climate smart” agriculture, permaculture and more. This component is taught by Northern Michigan University professor Dr. Mlado Ivanovic, who has taught comparable classes at NMU, Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University.
At the end of the program, students and teachers will split the harvested crops equally to sell at the market or feed themselves.
ROC has spent $1,300 to date to pay for program organizers; farming equipment; supplies like boots, gloves and notebooks for 15 students; seeds, compost and fertilizer; a one-year land rental; student transport and Wi-Fi. All supplies were purchased in Dzaleka and the Dowa District.
Monthly Costs - $350
- $100 for Wi-Fi
- $100 for four round trips to the soybean field
- $150 for payments to organizers
- $70 for ROC Director of Dzaleka Programming
- $40 for Bishop Charles
- $30 for teaching assistant
- $10 for Assistant Director of Dzaleka Programming
The monthly payment amounts to the organizers of the Sustainable Agriculture program to roughly $5 per day of instruction. The average daily income for Malawian teachers ranges from . The average daily income in Malawi is $1.12; for those with a high school education, it’s $3.
Any and all donations, and help sharing our efforts would be greatly appreciated!