It's been a while since I gave you a general update on the work that is happening in our partnerships. Allow me to give just a brief overview, and then I hope to bring more specific stories over the next couple of months.
Liberia: LEAD has been engaged in several new projects since I last wrote about them. They are:
|Beginning work at research farm|
- Research Farm - LEAD has begun planting, building and planning for a 25 acre research farm in Nimba County, in the North of Liberia. This farm will be a place where new crops, new opportunities, new methods, and new technologies will be researched and then moved out to farmers who are interested and willing to engage. LEAD already works with over 60 farmers and the needs in Liberia for agriculture improvement is significant. Things like irrigation techniques (currently farming only occurs during the rainy season), composting, higher yield seeds, hoop houses, and many more ideas are being brought to this research farm. New ideas to Liberia, like mushrooms, snail farming, high quality maize, ground hogs, and others are making their way into the plans for this farm. It is exciting and so full of potential. Brett Pfister, our intern, from Indiana, is working hard with the LEAD staff to get this going.
- Capital project - After two years of having seven plus LEAD staff members in a office that is 15 x 20 feet, LEAD is finally going to build an office building and has secured the land for this project. We are 6/10ths of the way to our fundraising goal so far! The project will also have some space to rent, so it is an income generating project as well to help LEAD reach sustainability.
- In a partnership with a Canadian NGO, called Hope for the Nations, LEAD has begun bringing business training and Business as a Mission to a local high school in Nimba County, training 17 students in how to run a business. These students will be given a small loan to work for the remainder of the semester (which goes until the end of July), while getting ongoing support from LEAD staff in managing their businesses. The youth are our future and LEAD wants to invest in them now!
|Renita, Fanny, and intern Tina Oh|
Birthdays: I don't know about the rest of you, but the last half of April is a very busy birthday month for us. Let me wish a few people "Happy Birthday". I don't have pictures of everyone, but here are some.
|Hannah Reed - turns 18 today, April 25!!! As usual she wakes us all up at her birth time, 5:30 am, saying that no one should sleep through this very important moment:-). I can't believe she is now legally an adult.|
|Dale and Janette VanderVeen - Dale, my brother-in-law, shares his birthday with Hannah today.|
|Keith and Lucille Mosher, Bob's mother and step-father. Keith turned 88 years old on April 18.|
|My brother, Henry, celebrates his birthday this Saturday, April 30. Marnie, his wife, is sitting next to him.|
Adam Schenk, nephew, turns 20 on April 29.
|Sister-in-law, Carolyn Reed, celebrated her birthday on April 23.|
Sister-in-law, Patty Reed, celebrated her birthday on April 20.
|My nephew, Peter. He's the one with the big mouth. On the left. Birthday on April 24.|