2017 Autumn Review

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REVIEW selfhelpafrica.org

FOCUS ON FOOD AND FARMING In the past year, we invested more resources and supported more households in Africa than ever before. This is only possible thanks to your support! The focus of our work remains on hundreds of thousands of smallholder farms, which are the main source of food, employment and income for the continent.

As we begin to work in regions of increasing fragility, where poverty is most extreme, immediate humanitarian responses of this kind are likely to become more common. We will aim to apply our agricultural development experience in new and innovative ways to end hunger and poverty where it is most severe. We are grateful to you for your continuing support for this work.

We have been greatly encouraged by the increasing recognition and support for African smallholder agriculture. African governments are now investing strongly in farming – setting goals to double productivity, and taking steps to reduce post-harvest losses. Private companies have also invested in agriculture, paving the way for an awakening of the continent’s agri-food systems – creating jobs and generating incomes for families. However, the East Africa food crisis has left more than 20 million people in desperate need. This crisis underlines the enormous challenges that still exist, and has led us to respond - in both Ethiopia and Kenya - by providing practical, direct support to families requiring urgent help. 2

Ray Jordan, CEO


A FARMING FUTURE Self-sufficiency for Zambia’s refugees Empowering refugee families to become self-sufficient farmers is the goal of an innovative new project in southern Africa. The scheme brings our agricultural expertise to thousands of aid-reliant refugees who have been living for generations in camps close to Zambia’s western border with Angola.

Congolese refugees (DRC) in Kala Camp, Zambia. © UNHCR/Nathalie Behring

Supported by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the project is providing farm skills and training to families who are receiving land to assist them to become selfsufficient small-scale farmers. The site of some of the oldest refugee camps in Africa, the settlements in Western Zambia were established over 30 years ago to provide shelter for hundreds of thousands of people who fled the bitter civil war in neighbouring Angola. Since then, they have been used

by UNHCR to accommodate displaced families from Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan and many of Africa’s other trouble spots. Work will take place over the next three years, with refugee families receiving farm training, equipment, livestock and other assets, so that they can establish viable farm businesses. Savings and credit and producer groups will be created, while farm families will be provided with assistance to access markets for their produce.

Angolan refugees in Nangweshi camp, Zambia. © UNHCR/Liba Taylor


Pictured above (L-R): Tumukratire Weakie, Mugisha John, Kato Pauson, Tugabirwe Joanah and Kakuru Nelson. Nyabanni, Uganda.

A LIFE ON THE LAND Rural youth playing a part


n rural sub-Saharan Africa, most young people don’t grow up with dreams of becoming a farmer.

Having witnessed their parents toil under the hot sun, using hand tools to dig the baked earth, many young people regard small-scale farming as hard, and often unrewarding work. Meagre harvests tell them that the grass just might be greener somewhere else. However, it often isn’t - and with the right support, the best option for a brighter future for young Africans can be found within the village communities where they have grown up.


The Manzo Youth Empowerment Project (MAYEP) provides vocational, entrepreneurial and agricultural training to 3,000 young men and women in Uganda’s West Nile province. The aim is to encourage the younger generation – in a region where farmers average age is 60 years old – to stay in their home towns/villages. By improving farm production, supporting agribusiness development and leadership training, we’re empowering rural youth to actively contribute to the challenge

of overcoming extreme poverty in their own communities.

AFRICA’S AGE GAP The average age of farmer is 60.

60% of Africa’s population are under 24.

TAMARA’S TONICS Mother-of-four Tamara Kaonga attended an enterprise conference in Malawi and came home inspired. Supported by a small loan she received from her village savings and loans group, and using the knowledge gained at the conference, Tamara set up a home business, manufacturing herbal tonics that she bottles and sells locally. Tamara says that the money that she earns supplements her income from farming. Her eldest daughter Yvonne, who dropped out of school when she became pregnant, returned recently to live at home. Tamara has used her income to pay for Yvonne to return to school. “I want her to finish her education and get a good job,” she says.

Stephen Linga, Malela village, Northern Province, Zambia.

FIGHTING CHILDHOOD MALNUTRITION Strong results in bid to combat early childhood stunting. Combating high levels of childhood malnutrition has been one of the primary goals of a five-year project in Zambia’s Northern Province. Funded by Irish Aid, the scheme has achieved startling results, shifting the dial dramatically on early childhood stunting caused by malnourishment. Independent studies conducted in northern Zambia show that stunting amongst children under 18 months fell by close to 9% - from 40% to 31% while severe stunting within this cohort dropped from 21% to 11% in the same period. The survey was conducted by academics from Bath University on close to 400 children.


Tackling the challenge of early childhood stunting is not just a question of food production and dietary diversity, it is also an issue of awareness and education. To achieve its results, the project implemented a range of measures, including a ‘training of trainers’ programme around nutrition that targeted young mothers, and an education campaign on early childhood breastfeeding that focused on expectant mothers.

The impact of our work in northern Zambia




households have increased their agricultural production

of households say their lives have improved since the project

increase in number of people who have access to sufficient food




reduction in chronic malnutrition amongst children

of households now have access to financial services

of women feel they have more decision-making power




members joined 62 enterprise groups

reduction in percentage living below poverty threshold

increase in households accessing safe drinking water 7

Alem Abebe and husband Tafese Getachew pictured outside their home in Sire, Oromia, Ethiopia.

ETHIOPIA’S ENTERPRISING WOMEN Small loans support thousands of small businesses In sub-Saharan Africa, less than 14% of people have access to credit. In rural areas, the percentage is even lower.

been running for over a decade, and has provided business loans to more than 55,000 members.

For that reason, savings and credit/loans cooperatives have become an important part of our work across Africa.

Figures released by the member-run SACCOs show that the income of members is, on average, 30% greater than those who don’t have access to credit, while disposable income available to those who have been supported with small businesses has increased six-fold.

By encouraging saving, and providing small loans, we are assisting tens of thousands of rural poor families to establish small income generating businesses, both on and off-farm. Many loan recipients are women. In Ethiopia, a Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) programme has


increase in disposable income among households


of households have sufficient access to food throughout the year


Alem Abebe (pictured) took a loan to buy livestock, and subsequently borrowed to establish a micro-brewery in her home.

of capital provided as loans come from member savings


of RuSACCO members are women


TRADING TO END POVERTY Merger will support investment and jobs Developing regional trade in Africa has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and lift millions of people out of poverty. The merger with Irish-based NGO Traidlinks will further strengthen Self Help Africa in our mission to create new opportunities for African agricultural producers to sell their produce into local, regional and international markets. Traidlinks has supported over 120 exportorientated businesses across Africa in the decade and a half since it was founded. In 2016 alone, Traidlinks collaborated with the Rwanda Development Board and jointly facilitated over 20 Rwandan companies to achieve nearly US$1m export sales. At the same time, over the past decade Self Help Africa has developed an extensive enterprise development portfolio designed to support African farming 10

communities to trade into new regional and international markets, and increase the profitability of their farm businesses. Meanwhile, a subsidiary social enterprise, Partner Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya, has become one of the leading providers of international ethical audits to international businesses in Africa. “Business can make a real difference in building economies and reducing extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa,” Self Help Africa CEO Ray Jordan said. “Rural poor communities need markets, they need jobs, and they need a fair price for their goods and services. We can play a vital role in making that happen,” he added.


BEZINA’S BUSINESS 27-year-old Bezina Abinet is a young mother and business owner in Oromia, Ethiopia. Since she joined a savings and credit cooperative in her village, she hasn’t looked back. Bezina used to bake bread at home and sell it locally. Now, she runs three thriving small grocery stores. With her first loan she bought a juicer, and with each subsequent loan she has expanded her ambition. Today, Bezina not only provides for her young family, but is also creating employment for five other people in her village.

MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS Investing in Africa’s daughters School’s out for millions of girls across sub-Saharan Africa. When times are tight for poor families, it’s usually the girls that are kept away from the classroom. That’s one of the reasons why we support African women, helping them to earn an income either from their farm work, or from small businesses that they create. Statistics show that by supporting African women, discretionary income is more likely to be invested in the household. It means that living conditions improve, diets get better, and children – especially girls – get the chance to go to school. Habibou Tiendrebeogo and daughter Fatimata Tapsoba, Loumbila, Oubritenga, Plateau Central, Burkina Faso.


According to the UN, if women are given the same access to productive resources

INEQUALITY COSTS SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA OVER $100BN A YEAR* as men, they could increase yields on their farms by as much as 30%. In Malawi, Veronica Brown (pictured right) dropped out of school at 17 when she became pregnant. She doesn’t want that for her daughter Linda, who is now 18. “She failed her finals in school last year and is back at home. But I am saving up, as I want her to go back next year and finish properly. I want her to have a career,” she says. 41-year-old Habibou Tiendrebeogo (pictured left) in Burkina Faso echoes Veronica’s sentiments. Her eldest daughter Fatimata, who is 24, recently returned to school so that she too could have the education that was denied to her mother. “She will go to university. No-one in our family has ever gone this far,” Habibou says.

Veronica Brown and her daughter Linda Kampira, Kuma village, Malawi.

*According to the Africa Human Development Report 2016: Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa published by the United Nations Development Programme

OUR IMPACT AT A GLANCE: Total number of people we worked with in the past year:

842,682 ETHIOPIA

1,030,698 UGANDA

243,162 KENYA



473,496 MALAWI

284,226 ZAMBIA




reduction in malnutrition amongst children in northern Zambia

increase in income*

increase in crop production**

*based on those surveyed, this is a weighted average for our poorest beneficiaries. **316,974 households (1,958,212 people) have increased their crop production by at least 25%. This equates to 79% of households with whom we are focussing on increasing production.


LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY Give a gift that lasts a lifetime

LIFETIME GIFTS Lifetime Gifts are a very real way that you can support our effort to reduce poverty - giving a thoughtful gift to a friend or relative, while providing much needed support for poor families in Africa. These gifts, including chicks, goats and farm tools start from just €10 and can transform the lives of those most in need. Your donation will be spent wherever the meed is greatest, supporting families to produce more food and make a living. Learn more at selfhelpafrica.org



Like you, we want a world free from hunger and poverty. Leaving a legacy gift in your will is a real way you can support this effort and make an impact for generations to come. A legacy gift costs you nothing in this lifetime, but it can change the lives of future generations in rural Africa - helping families to produce enough food and provide for the family. We know that making a will is a personal matter. However, after you’ve remembered your loved ones, please think about leaving a legacy gift to Self Help Africa. Your gift can transform lives in Africa for years to come. When we receive a legacy from someone who has passed away – we recognise its importance, and ensure the legacy is invested wisely to achieve the greatest impact. If you are writing a will and would like further information, please speak to one of our team on 01743 277170.

UNITED KINGDOM Westgate House, Dickens Court Hills Lane, Shrewsbury, SY1 1QU Tel. +44 (0)1743 277170 14 Dufferin Street London, EC1Y 8PD Tel. +44 (0)20 7251 6466 NORTHERN IRELAND Forsyth House, Cromac Square, Belfast, NI, BT2 8LA Tel. +44 (0)28 9189 8589 IRELAND Kingsbridge House, 17–22 Parkgate Street, Dublin 8 Tel. +353 (0)1 677 8880






Cover image: Tadesse Lema and Mamitu Alemu with daughter Haile Tadesse, Lume, Oromia, Ethiopia.