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Josias, Burundi: "My mission is to make the soil more fertile"

My name is Josias. I am 53 years old and a member of a Purpose Group where we are all famers in Burundi.

Before I joined the Purpose Group, I lived with many financial struggles. I used to be a trader in the Bujumbura Central Market, and I had a better life. Unfortunately, there was a fire disaster in 2013, and I lost all of my market goods and a large sum of money.

My income shrunk, and I couldn’t start any other income-generating activity. After returning home with empty hands, I felt desperate and stuck. It was a challenge for me to be able to pay laborers to help with agriculture. I lost my standing with neighbors, and I couldn't see how I was going to resolve the financial problems.

burundi farming

I would burn down forests for pasture and firewood, not caring about the damage. I was not aware of the importance of the millions of micro and macro fauna in the soil and generally environmental protection. I was basically an enemy of nature. But today, thanks to the training I've received from Plant With Purpose, I’ve changed my ways. My livestock is now permanently fed from home and all the grazing areas on my farm are covered with grasses. In my kitchen, I have an improved stove that I built after learning about the importance of consuming less firewood.

My farmland was not fertile before, so we had to spend a lot of energy cultivating all the space. Despite that, the yield was always poor. We had no knowledge regarding improved agricultural techniques for our Burundi farming effort. Now I’ve been composting and using contour canals with fixed grass to protect workable land. I sow seeds in pockets, and this year, I’ve been using select corn seeds.

Thanks to the savings and loan activities in the Purpose Group, I was able to buy a Sahiwal heifer. She is helping us as she increases our organic manure.

As far as my relationship with God is concerned, I'm excited to read Bible verses and pray every day before starting my savings and loans activities. I can testify that my life has been transformed: my behavior and respect for the environment!

Even though I was a church member for a long time, I didn't know the value of respecting God's creation. Especially the environment when I do my Burundi farming practice. Things have changed for the better ever since participating in Plant With Purpose’s Theology of Work and Seeds of Change training.

I'm in a joyful mood, because learning and applying these skills have made me a man of value and my hope will return. My mission is to make the soil more fertile to produce more in a sustainable way.

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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