With Earth Day upon us, I was curious to figure out what Earth Day actually means. I remember celebrating in grade school with paper plates colored to look like the world, and planting bean sprouts in tiny planters, but somewhere in between fifth grade and my (late) twenties, I forgot what Earth Day actually represents — and maybe you have, too.
Collectively, Earth Day celebrates people who are taking action to protect and support our environment. Earth Day aims to engage people to tackle issues like pollution, climate change, depletion of the ozone layer and deforestation. From a simple Google search, you might see where I’m going with this — our Earth is facing a lot of serious problems!
However, where there is a problem, there is a solution, and I believe that agriculture is without a doubt one of the answers to a happy, healthy Earth. This Earth Day, join me as I take you around the globe to spotlight the impact Rise Against Hunger is making through agricultural projects in Nicaragua, Haiti and India!Taking on Climate Change in Nicaragua
Through our partnership with Foods Resource Bank, we are tackling a pressing environmental issue — climate change. In Nicaragua, farmers are learning sustainable agricultural methods that actually reverse environmental degradation and maximize scarce water resources. Families are being empowered to restore soil through crop rotation and lower the risk of crop failure by planting drought-resistant varieties. By 2019, we aim to support 625 beneficiaries with improved access to potable water, guard crops against climate-related shock and provide children with more nutritious food.Increasing Agricultural Productivity & Education in Haiti
Rise Against Hunger’s Siloe Agricultural Development Initiative (SADI), along with partner Hearts and Hands for Haiti, has created a substantial impact in Gonaives, a small community in Northern Haiti. This project includes a five-acre farm, aquaculture system, two water wells, a drip irrigation system and has already generated thousands of seedlings and produce for displaced children housed in an onsite orphanage. The good news doesn’t stop there! The partnership supported the hiring of a full-time agronomist named Telson. Telson plans to teach an agronomy class for over 450 students and provide farmer training for about 330 community members. Telson’s trainings will help area farmers find more cost-effective ways to increase their production! Telson says,
I do this not for the money, but because I like the work that I do. I studied for five years to train farmers and my goal is to train everyone that I come in contact with.
Implementing Moringa Farms in India
First things first, what IS Moringa? I didn’t know until recently, so in case you’re in the same boat, I’ll break it down: Moringa might seem like just another plant at first look, but it’s actually so much more. Moringa can be harvested every 45 days (generating more consistent income for farmers) and contains high amounts of calcium, vitamins, fiber and iron, living up to its nickname, “the miracle tree.” By training farmers in India on how to grow Moringa, Rise Against Hunger aims to increase per-acre income for farmers and their families, and increase return on livestock, as goat and cattle eat Moringa feed. In the next four years, the project will benefit 500 farmers and their families, impacting a total of 2,500 beneficiaries — all from the miracle of Moringa!
Over time, these projects will impact thousands of people, taking us several steps closer to ending hunger by 2030. Whether you are sitting at work or out planting your own Moringa field, I hope you take a moment this Earth Day to think not only about the environmental issues facing our planet, BUT more importantly, how you’ll take action. We celebrate the strides Hunger Champions like you have helped us make in agricultural development, and we encourage you to let your education and love for our Earth grow — after all, we only have one!