Empowering farmers in South Sudan: Jente's story

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3.25.14 Transform Tues

Jente Sampson, vice-secretary of the BOIME farmers association, has been farming since 1994.  The group that she is part of is made up of 21 people (16 women and 5 men), and is led by the Curate of the Anglican Church where Jente worships. “This group started during the war,” said Jente. “The main purpose was to overcome hunger. We also realized that it was an important way to meet with friends, that if we were organized we could have a better chance to partner.“

Jente’s friend Monica said that the group has dreams of expanding. “We don’t just want to grow certain commodities like maize all the time," she said. "We have a vision to plant some other things like lemon and orange trees and to grow pineapples, because we need those in the market! That way without doing more work we can still earn money to pay for children’s school fees.”

The BOIME farmers association members are impressively hardworking, clearing fields of thick grasses and small trees exclusively by hand, using machetes and other hand tools. They learn about improved farming techniques from training sessions hosted by World Relief agriculture workers.

“Challenges can cause people to be weak in their minds” said Jente. “That’s why we commit ourselves together to see how we can change the community. And as for you – words are sweet to speak, but will you work with us the way you have said you would?”

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