Recent statistics show that a staggering ten percent of the world’s population are suffering the effects of food insecurity. Your support has helped address the needs of the hungry around the world both with acute needs and in working towards long-term solutions.

In 2022, CBM funded more than two million dollars towards food programming. Some of these investments were made in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank who is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. We feel privileged to have been at the table since their formation in 1983. With your help, we were able to ensure local farmers in Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and South Sudan received much needed training to improve food harvests. Additionally, more than a million was earmarked for food relief in Lebanon and Ukraine, as well as other countries struggling through catastrophic events.

The needs are immense, but you have brought hope to people contending with poverty and marginalization. By supporting these programs, you help reach the next generation with the skills and tools needed to bring about a brighter future for whole villages. Communities like the village of Kimangaru, where 13-year-old Lejimco lives with his parents and younger brother in Kenya. His family would often buy a meager portion of vegetables at the market. It was never enough for everyone, resulting in nutritional deficiencies for the family. Sometimes they would subsist solely on ugali (a dense porridge made of cornmeal) with tea.

Lejimco joined the 4K Club at his local school, which teaches practical skills on food security to its 41 student members. They discuss topics like mitigating the effects of climate change with drought-tolerant crops, resiliency and diversification with kitchen gardens, as well as propagating fruit trees with environmental conservation in mind.

Lejimco was particularly keen on kitchen gardens and helped to prepare the school’s demonstration plot. He even joined the leadership in managing the garden. His excitement was infectious as he took this knowledge to address the challenges faced by his own family in regards to food security.

He convinced his mother to let him use a small piece of their land for their new kitchen garden. He started small by growing onions, and now he grows a wide variety of vegetables like kale, spinach, tomatoes and green amaranth. His father was also inspired by his son’s enthusiasm and applied conservation agriculture to his own plot by using mulch and reducing water consumption. Lejimco’s father was able to sell his casava harvest and buy a chicken knowing it was the beginning of a new source of food and income for the family.

Lejimco didn’t limit the sharing of his newfound knowledge to just his family, but with the community at large. He spoke with others in his village, like Mrs. Muriithi, who says, “I have been growing vegetables on a piece of land which is a bit far from home. Lejimco talked to me about the idea of growing vegetables within the homestead and its working well. I am planning to expand my kitchen garden.”

This is just one example of how teaching one child can affect an entire community. These much needed food security programs are vital in the process of bringing people hope especially in these difficult times. Your support has multiplied that hope, not only in the village of Kimangaru, but across all of CBM food security projects around the world.