Democratic Republic of the Congo - Development and food self-sufficiency: mothers as protagonists

11 May 2018

(ANS - Kinshasa) - When you bet on mothers to create development you can't go wrong. This is why, with the project at Mont Ngafula, a municipality of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Salesians are convinced they cannot fail. Their objective: to help the women of the parish to start small agricultural activities that generate income.

The small town of Mont Ngafula suffers from its isolation due to the lack of a road that connects it to the city, a factor that deeply penalizes its socio-economic context. Added to this is the lack of water and electricity. Almost all families suffer from a lack of work: they lack the means to satisfy basic needs, and there is the need to work to raise awareness on how to get out of this marginality.

Inside the mission of Don Bosco's spiritual Sons there are already small plots of land set aside for the production of vegetables, fruit, cereals as well as the breeding of small farm animals, all activities that contribute to the sustenance of families. Empowered by this experience, the women have set themselves the goal of achieving food self-sufficiency through the cultivation of vegetables that, once the gardens are fully operational, can be sold to the market.

The project foresees several steps. The first concerns a period of modern and integrated training in the subject of agro-zootechnics, or agricultural sciences. Subsequently, within a year, 80% of participants shall be able to benefit from a supply of seeds and tools to renew cultivation in their own gardens. Then, after the harvest, they will be able to reimburse the Salesians for the "loan" of the means of production, delivering them 20% of the vegetables, which will feed the little orphans who are guests of the "Maison Papy" community, another structure of the mission.

At the same time, the serious problem of the scarcity of water for irrigation will be addressed by increasing the capacity of the current well.

In the long term, the community of Mont Ngafula will be able to extend the cultivated land and produce vegetables that can be sold in the city. And 107 families, with a more stable income, will also be able to pay for their children's studies.

Helping vulnerable families by focusing on mothers, generators of life, the reference of affection and love and bearers of hope: this is the meaning of the project!

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ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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