By: Christian Extension Services Staff
After losing her husband, Maria was left to look after her seven children with little help from relatives and with no access to capital to invest in improving her home business or her farm. She explained, “I had to take my eldest son out of school to help with the farm work which we needed to survive and to send the other children to school. Since there was no place to borrow money, we had to fetch firewood and burn charcoal to make money to have something to eat.”
When World Renew’s partner, Christian Extension Services (CES) began working in her village in northern Sierra Leone, Maria was selected by her community to be one of 30 participants in the agricultural and micro-loan program. Through the program a community seed bank was established that provided participants with improved-variety rice seed, as well as training in sustainable farming. Participants also had access to small loans and a place to safely save their extra income.
“I’m sure the village knew I needed it more than everyone else,” Maria said, smiling. She used the new opportunity to start baking bread and breeding several ducks, and to increase her charcoal production. Maria shared, “Without CES, we would still be having a food crisis and some of my children might not have been able to continue their education. I really thank God for CES and World Renew.”
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