CELEBRATING EARTH DAY, APRIL 22

There’s nothing quite like giving back to your community that stirs an excitement and joy that cannot be easily replaced. *In Kenya, it’s an important cultural tradition to give to those in need. But for many farmers in Embu county, in the central part of Kenya, a combination of poor soils, lack of agricultural training, and unreliable rainfall meant that many farmers were unable to help their neighbours as much as they would like. Some were left reliant on outside help several months a year. Piah Wanjagi is one of those people. The 86-year old widow, who cares for four of her orphaned grandchildren, has been farming since 1947. Piah currently farms four acres, growing things like maize, beans, and cowpeas. The farm has done fine for the most part, but things are still tight. Income from the farm allows her to send her grandchildren to school. But as she grows older, working the land is becoming increasingly difficult.

That’s why she was eager to take part in a conservation agriculture program to help her improve her farm’s yield, at the same time ensuring she can pass good quality land on to her grandchildren. The increased yields meant that when Nguni Ukembaa, a village about 40 kilometres away from Embu, suffered from a severe drought this past growing season, Piah could respond. “It’s written in the Bible that the Lord will come into your home, but that person who comes into your home won’t look like Jesus,” says Piah of how she donated four kilograms of beans and six kilograms of maize from her yields through her church to people in that village who were going hungry. “And if you chase that person away, you will have chased away Jesus,” she adds.

This Earth Day, it gives us a chance to not only think about our contribution to caring for God’s creation, but we can also think of how we can give back to our community, whether it’s being generous with our money, prayers, or time.

*story provided by Canadian Foodgrains Bank