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Severin: "My production of beans and corn have almost tripled"

Severin is the president of his Purpose Group located in the Nyakijanda watershed of Burundi. He is a 60 year old Burundi farmer who has accomplished a lot, applying innovation to his work on the farm.

“I am so delighted to be a member of my Purpose Group in Burundi,” he introduces himself. “I am a disabled man, ever since I was in a bicycle accident. Before, I was so poor that I couldn't even see how to support my family and pay for my health care. This accident put me in a very unfortunate situation. I had to spend six months in the hospital which left me with a very high invoice that we must pay to be discharged.

“I lived in anguish. I had no idea how I would escape this situation as a disabled man using a wheelchair. It was like a vicious cycle. I could not imagine beginning any development project in my household, though I did already purchase two goats and a pig.”

“A couple years ago, I heard a village agent tell about his experience with Plant With Purpose. He said that he himself was a member of a Purpose Group, and he experienced similar problems before joining the group.”

“I then decided to join the Plant With Purpose program with my wife. We started on that same day. I participated in a workshop on the Theology of Work, and everything started to change. It gave me the motivation to work hard and to think ahead. With hope and commitment, I started participating in savings and loans activities with the group. When it came to farming, I also started following the advice of our facilitators.”

“We started to save little by little,” explained Severin.

After a few months the Burundi farmer and his wife had the chance to use their savings to pay off the remaining debt he had accumulated during his hospitalization. He used the rest of the funds to buy a goat. Severin’s wife took out a loan which allowed them to buy another goat.

“All together, we have four goats plus a pig that I bought recently,” explains Severin. “Now I am supplementing the organic manure we produce at home with organic materials from compost.”

“I have participated in training activities around different agricultural and environmental techniques. I was able to increase the fertility of my land and now the yields of my farm production have significantly increased. For example, I have started making kitchen gardens in a nearby plot while growing vegetables in other parts of my property.”

“Before, my harvest was nearly zero. But after the training I’ve received, my production of beans and corn have almost tripled. Now my family is starting to eat well and gradually I am meeting the primary needs of my household. Techniques like contours, compost, agroforestry, and mulching help me.”

About the Author

Plant With Purpose seeks to restore hope by reversing two of the world’s greatest challenges: global poverty and environmental damage. These problems are interconnected.

Our goal is to see creation’s life-giving regenerative cycles restored and people renewed through their relationship to God, living in healthy sufficiency and empowered to dream.

We operate in eight countries around the world. Our international work is 100% locally-led, with global offices operating both as independent agencies within their country, and alliance partners with Plant With Purpose U.S., which supports their ongoing work.

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