Last month, thousands of community members took to the streets on a Sunday to protest a lack of food and medicine as a country where MAI works undergoes a grave economic crisis aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic and other restrictions. The island is facing its worst shortage of food since the 1990s. Finding ingredients was never easy in a place which imports around 70% of its food. Over the past year it has become nearly impossible.
During times such as this, the people can feel very alone. One community took the initiative to bring neighbors together by organizing a local board of directors to help them: an agronomist, an administrator, an organizer and an economist with experience in cooperative work. This had to be done by word of mouth because this country does not allow communities to legalize these initiatives or make decisions. This group of neighbors with portions of land included eleven brothers, the CHE Coordinator and other CHE Facilitators.
When everyone came together, there was a total of 30 hectares (74.13 acres) of land available to be farmed. Pulling resources together, the people were able to harvest peanuts, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, beans, bananas and yucca. Some of the land is now being prepared for other types of vegetables.
When the harvest is collected, a portion of it is contributed to the work of God – supporting the sick and most needy. People support each other and the farmers are happy. One of them testified, “I no longer feel isolated trying to survive.”
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10