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Veriane, Burundi: Changing how my children see themselves

Around the world, parents dream of raising children to be confident and secure in who they are. However, the opportunities parents have to accomplish this aren’t always equa. In places like Burundi, where poverty and hardship are part of many families’ daily experiences, children often struggle with self-worth.

“Before we became a part of Plant With Purpose, my children had so many problems: paying for school fees, affording health insurance, and securing clothing and food. It was rare for us to eat even twice a day,” shares Veriane, who lives in Rukuzira, Burundi.

“My children started to see themselves as less esteemed compared to the other children and the lives they were living. All of this happened because our only source of income and food was our farm, which could not cover the needs of our family.”

“The reason behind this was our old farming methods. We did things like planting crops next to each other that shouldn’t be combined. We also did not use any natural fertilizers. We simply farmed on unprotected soil, and that kept our production low. We had no other capital to allow us to take on other income-generating activities, so I had doubts about my children’s future. I couldn’t see how they were going to eat and continue their studies.”

While the environment played a role in the family’s daily’s struggles, restoring the environment could also help turn things around.

“The solution came in the form of Plant With Purpose,” says Veriane, ”when it brought its program to our watershed. It started teaching us savings and loan activities and new agricultural techniques that promote sustainable agriculture.

“My Purpose Group allowed me to save simple amounts of money while having access to loans to increase my income base.”

Purpose Groups combine sustainable agriculture training with access to financial services like savings and loan opportunities.

“Four months after joining this group, I took out a loan to buy a small pig. This allowed me to produce organic manure to fertilize my plants,” she continues.

“I’ve applied the new techniques I’ve learned: composting, contour planting, soil mulching, crop rotation, and fertilization. These all enabled me to increase my production considerably!”

“Today, I no longer work just for my own food, but also so I can bring vegetables to the market. My children have no challenges eating three times a day and paying for their school fees. They are well dressed.”

“I’ve seen how my life can change thanks to these new practices. My children are active participants. They are enthusiastic about the application of farming techniques. They help with the watering, weeding, and mulching. They also help create the animal feed.”

Now, Veriane, along with her children are able to look ahead to the future with optimism.

“In the future, my children hope to also have their own vegetable farms and livestock to help us in our older age and to meet family needs.”

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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