ASEC News

Learning ways to address poverty in Africa through field trips

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

SLDI participants in Nigeria walking through Pastor Usman's "One Village Farm" (“Kauye Daya”) where he's fighting poverty in Africa through agriculture.


SLDI participants take field trips to see real-world examples of how others are solving issues related to poverty in Africa, like lack of education and unemployment.

In African countries of Zambia and Nigeria, thousands are suffering from issues related to poverty, such as lack of education and unemployment. As part of their education, religious sisters from ASEC’s Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) workshops take field trips to be exposed to ways others combat poverty in Africa in the communities they serve.

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Holy Rosary Sisters running the development centre in Chipapa with Hedwig Nafula (second from right) during the an SLDI field trip to Chipapa.

Holy Rosary Sisters running the development centre in Chipapa with Hedwig Nafula (second from right) during the an SLDI field trip to Chipapa.

In Zambia, an SLDI Administration group attended a field trip to the Holy Rosary Sisters centre in Chipapa, where sisters are fighting poverty through teaching skills like tailoring, catering and food production to young boys and girls.

The centre began in 2011 with very few students but is now offering courses to over 40 students. Many of the centre's students are orphans who have dropped out of school and this is an opportunity for them to break the cycle of poverty they are currently facing.

Currently, the centre suffers from several issues like theft, floods, bush fires and lack of funds, but SLDI participants see so much value in this project. Students hope to use the skills learned in the program to drum up funding for the centre to resolve some of these problems. They also envision creating a larger space so more students can benefit from the training.

SLDI students in Zambia work on field report from their visit to Holy Rosary Sisters Centre
SLDI students (from L-R) Sr. Anastasia M’lauzi, Sr. Elvine Msimuko, Sr. Margaret Banda, Sr. Martha Phiri, Sr. Clare Machisa and Sr. Memory Zingwaya worked together to submit a field report on their visit (PDF).

SLDI participants in Nigeria explore the maize fields at Pastor Usman's

SLDI participants in Nigeria explore the maize fields at Pastor Usman's "One Village Farm"

In Nigeria, the SLDI Finance group attended a field trip to "One Village Farm," a 12-year old farm maintained by Pastor Usman Maisamari Balarabe, where they learned how important agriculture can be. One Village Farm employs ten farmers and practices a mixed farming system where variety of vegetables and fruits are produced and animals reared.

“Nigeria has no business with poverty with a lot of natural things around us.” – Pastor Usman

Due to issues with the Agricultural State Training Centre, Pastor Usman has learned to create many things for his farm on his own – like fertilizer, pesticides and water sources.

His farm faces a similar problem to the centre with funds, regarding buying materials and employing services.

Despite these hardships, both SLDI groups felt eager to use these experiences to help their own congregations and communities.

“As SLDI Administration group, we feel so encouraged, challenged and have been energized to do more when we go back to our congregations.” – Sr. Juliana Chibaula Zulu, Zambia

“The training tour was so interesting that we cannot all wait to practice something closer so that we can also tell our stories.” – Sr. Clementina Obembe, ASEC West Africa Regional Director

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This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

End poverty in all its forms everywhere End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning Sustainable Cities and Communities
Sr. Clementina Obembe, OSF


Author
Regional Director West Africa  

Sr. Juliana Chibaula Zulu


Author
Programs Coordinator – Zambia  

Zoe Laporte


Editor
ASEC Web Content Intern - USA  

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