|Read Semmy’s (left) story below|
Women in Uganda are the caretakers for their families. Our Cents for Seeds program provides a local woman with a 30 kilogram loan of seeds such as beans or sesame, as well as a hand held gardening tool, educational workshops and access to savings groups, empowering them to reinvest their earnings into food, education and health care. They also have access to savings and loans groups that enable them to borrow money for emergencies or larger household purchases.
The women then give back their loan of seeds at the end of their first harvest so it can be passed on to another like her, making it a sustainable project while reaching more communities. She can also elect to receive another loan the following year if she still needs to.
Here’s how Cents for Seeds has impacted Ogyang Semmy.
“I am called Odyang Semmy. I am 35 years old and I have five children. In 2012, my husband died from sickness and left me a widow.
I have been part of the program for five years. Last year, I received 20 kilos and harvested 65 kilos in the first rainy season (harvest was affected by drought) and 110 kilos in the second season. With my harvest, I kept some for food and a small amount to replant and sold the excess to solve some problems that came up in the home like soap, school fees and food.
Life before the project was difficult because getting food was very hard and there was nowhere to run to help with my hardships. Before I had nothing to sell to help with the unexpected problems. But now at least there is food in my house and I can have something to sell in times of hardship.
As a mother, this project has helped me so much because in the past I didn’t have any knowledge about agricultural practices like site selection and land preparation but now I have knowledge from the training and can do planting activities on my own. I am also able to pass this knowledge onto my children because they help me in the garden and I tell them how useful this project is.
As a widow, the project is helping me to take care of my children in terms of feeding and clothing them but it has also provided me with community. When my husband died, the women in the project came and helped me by giving me food and some even pooled their money together to help with the burial and general expenses. I have made many new friends through the project (even you!)
I want the project just to continue because otherwise I will have nowhere to run when things are hard. Please send my greetings and my word of thanks to all the supporters. You should not get tired of us women, even though sometimes there are hardships. Please keep us in your prayers.”