The importance of local, sustainable agriculture has become all the more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Food shortages and inflation highlighted the crucial role of the environment and farming.
At Malaika, our agriculture program serves so many purposes. First and foremost, it serves as an important source of sustenance for our students and staff, who receive two healthy meals each day. For many of our girls, this is a primary source of nutrition. With the onslaught of COVID-19, the price of food dramatically increased in DRC with the closing of the border. We were able to distribute staple items such as maize and produce to more than 7,000 individuals in our Kalebuka community at a time when it was needed most.
This program also serves as an excellent educational opportunity in more ways than one. Our students help our with the farm and learn about sustainable practices and the importance of taking care of their environment while doing so; we’re also able to teach the surrounding community about sustainable farming here. Additionally, we employ local people through this program, providing jobs and thereby boosting the economy.
Malaika’s programs are rarely unilateral; rather, they symbiotically work in tandem with each other to create the most multifaceted impact. Our agricultural initiative is a beautiful example of an ecosystem within our ecosystem, where learning meets function and produces concrete solutions.