World Food Day 2017, Migration and Rural Development


This year’s World Food Day theme appropriately focuses on migration, at a time when human displacement both within and across nations is at the highest rate in half a century. Conflict, poverty, and exceptional weather changes are prompting movement across the globe, and food insecurity is one of the largest contributing factors forcing people from their homes.

Many of the world’s most impoverished and food insecure populations live in rural areas where lack of economic opportunity forces families to relocate in search of better conditions. Developing rural communities can address the circumstances prompting families to migrate and encourage them to stay home, when conditions are safe to do so.

A health training on traditional medicine and its relation to malnutrition at the Gashaki Health Center in Musanze, Rwanda. Photo by Maggie Andresen.

Gardens for Health International (GHI) embraces the idea of strengthening rural communities through education and targeted agriculture training so people feel empowered to stay in their homes instead of leaving them. Three quarters of the world’s poor participate in agriculture as a livelihood, yet malnutrition is a global health crisis in the same population. GHI looks to draw on existing agricultural knowledge in families with children afflicted by malnutrition, and build on it with real-world solutions to food insecurity. First, GHI partners with health centers to identify families facing extreme circumstances of childhood malnutrition. Next, the GHI model employs a comprehensive 14-week training program in key health and agriculture topics so so we can address the dual challenges of access and knowledge. GHI then provides seeds, livestock, and vines to families to put them on positive pathways to success. Thus far, this model has helped put 21,000 children on positive trajectories towards healthy futures.

A health training on good hygiene and its importance to kitchen habits at the Shingiro Health Center in Musanze, Rwanda. Photo by Maggie Andresen.

Our program puts families on a path to food security, advancing economic opportunities available to them as income usually spent on food can be redirected during harvest-time. When families have access more secure livelihood options in their communities, they are dissuaded from migrating for economic reasons. In Rwanda, where a high population density increases pressure on agriculture land yield, our model allows families to maximize modest plots for bountiful harvests. GHI works primarily with smallholder farmers, and thus we operate with their realistic needs for rural economic success as a priority.

A sprawling overview of the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda’s Eastern Province. Photo by Maggie Andresen.

While encouraging rural development as an alternative to economic migration is ideal, not all people are able to stay in their homes safely. Food insecurity is a product  of migration, as families en route are rarely able to cultivate food for consumption or earn an income to purchase food. Families are more likely to migrate when they go hungry at home, according to the World Food Programme. Some of the world’s most vulnerable populations affected by migration are refugees fleeing their countries of origin for fear of persecution. Rwanda is home to six refugee camps that house both Congolese and Burundian nationals fleeing conflict. GHI operates in Mahama camp, home to about 50,000 Burundians, with an abridged version of the 14-week health and 9-week agriculture trainings we employ with our partner families through our Health Center Program. Our model is especially important within the setting of refugee camps due to the structural lack of sustainable solutions to malnutrition and heavy reliance on distributed food aid, which is often limited in its nutritional capacity. Thus, refugees face the one of the greatest challenges of any population in achieving balanced, nutritious diets. GHI’s camp-modified trainings acknowledge the available resources at hand for refugees, and focus on how to prepare well-balanced meals with limited water, wood, and utensils. Through basic training and provision of seed inputs, agricultural support from volunteers, and hands-on cooking demonstrations, GHI demonstrates an active commitment to sustainable solutions for childhood malnutrition in Mahama camp, and to the right of refugees to autonomy in food choice.

Fresh amarynth (dodo) leaves are included in the Mahama Refugee Camp cooking demonstration, hosted and performed by GHI over two days. Photo by Maggie Andresen.

In 2017, migration patterns must inform food policy and measures for rural development. By making opportunities for migrants to contribute to local community growth, host countries gain access to a vibrant community of people looking to make sustainable livelihoods. Migration occurs within nations more than out of them, so revitalizing rural communities with economic opportunity keeps families stable instead of searching for a new home. Food security and sustainability makes all of this easier, and is what GHI strives to provide for families challenged by malnutrition in Rwanda, no matter the nation of origin.

Donate to GHI for World Food Day to make nutrient-enriched diets a reality for food-insecure families across Rwanda.

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Kinyarwanda translation by Monica Mutoni:

Umunsi mpuzamahanga w’imirire ku isi 2017. Ihunga ry’Abantu n’Iterambere ry’Icyaro.

Uyu mwaka insanganyamatsiko y’umunsi mpuzamahanga w’imirire ku isi yibanze cyane ku ihunga ry’abantu mu gihe byagaragaye ko mu gihe kingana n’imyaka mirongitanu abantu benshi bagiye bahungira mu bice bitandukanye by’igihugu abandi bakajya mu bihugu bitandukanye. Zimwe mu mpanvu zitera ihunga ry’abantu hirya no hino ku isi harimo intambara, ubukene, Ibiza ndetse n’ inzara ari nayo mpamvu irusha izindi gutera abantu benshi gusiga ingo zabo bakajya gushaka aho babona ibyo kurya. Umubare munini w’abantu bakennye cyane ndetse badafite ubunshobozi bwo kubona ibyo kurya bihagije ni abatuye mu byaro bitewe n’iterambere ricye bituma abantu benshi bahungira hirya no hino mu buryo bwo gushaka imibereho myiza. Guteza imbere icyaro nicyo gisubizo cy’ibibazo bitera imiryango guhunga ndetse bigatuma bagira imibereho myiza bityo bakaguma mungo zabo.

Amahugurwa y’ubuzima ajyanye nogukoresha ubuvuzi gakondo ndetse n’isano bufitanye n’imirire mibi yaberereye ku kigo nderabuzima cya Gashaki mu karere ka Musanze, Rwanda, amafoto yafashwe na Maggie Andresen.

Gardens for Health International (GHI) ishyigikiye igiterekerezo cyo guteza imbere ibyaro biciye mu burezi ndetse no gutanga amahugurwa ku buhinzi n’ubworozi bizashishikariza abantu kuguma mu ngo zabo aho kuzivamo. Bitatu bya kane by’abatuye isi batunzwe nubuhinzi n’ubworozi nyamara imirire mibi ni kimwe mu mbogamizi abo bantu bahura nayo. GHI ishingira kubumenyi ku buhinzi n’ubworozi imiryango ifite abana bafite ikibazo cy’imirire mibi ifite, igashaka ibisubizo ku bibazo by’imirire mibi. Ikintu cyambere GHI ikora nugufatanya nibigo nderabuzima bitandukanye Kureba imiryango ifite abana bafite ibibazo bikomeye bitewe n’imirire mibi. Igikurikiraho, GHI itanga amahugurwa y’ibyumweru 14 kungingo zijyanye nubuzima ndetse n’ubuhinzi bworozi mu buryo bwo gushakira ibisubizo ibibazo byo kubura ibikenewe ndetse n’ubumenyi ku buhinzi bworozi. Hanyuma, GHI itanga imbuto, amatungo, ndetse n’imigozi y’ibijumba ku miryango itandukanye kugirango ibafashe kugera ku gera ku ngaruka nziza. Kugeza ubu iyi gahunda imaze gufasha abana bagera 21,000 kugera kunzira ikwiye izabageza kubuzima bwiza bwejo hazaza.

Amahugurwa ku isuku ndetse nicyo imaze mu gikoni yabereye ku kigo nderabuzima cya shingiro mu karere ka Musanze, Rwanda. Amafoto yafashwe na Maggie Andresen.

Gahunda zacu zishyira imiryango mu nzira yo kugera ku mirire nyayo ndetse ikanazamura ibikorwa by’iterambere byari bisanzwe bihari bitewe nuko inyungu iva muri ibyo bikworwa ikoreshwa mu buhinzi hanyu hakaboneka  inyungu yisumbuyeho mu gihe cy’isarura. Iyo imiryango ifite uburyo butandukanye bwo kugera ku mibereho myiza mu bice batuyemo, bituma hatabaho impanvu nimwe iterwa n’iterambere ricye yatuma bahunga aho batuye. Mu Rwanda umubare wibaturage wiyongera cyane bigatuma ubutaka bwo guhingamo bukomeza kuba buto, gahunda yacu ifasha imiryango kumenya uburyo bwo kugera ku musaruro utubutse hakoreshejwe ubutaka buto. GHI okorana cyane n’abahinzi baciriritse ikabafasha kugera kubyo bakeneye mu buryo bwo kubafasha kugera ku iterambere rikwiye.

Amafoto y’inkambi y’impunzi ya Mahama mu ntara Y’Uburasira zuba. Amafoto yafashwe na Maggie Andresen.

Nubwo  gushishikaza iterambere ry’icyaro nk’igisubizo cy’ikibazo cy’ihunga rikabije ry’abantu, ntago ariko abantu bose bashobora kuguma mu ngo zabo mu mahoro. Ikibazo cyo kubura ibyo kurya ni imwe mu ngaruka zo guhunga bitewe nuko abantu bahunga ari gacye bashobora guhinga imyaka yo kurya cyangwa se ngo babone ubushobozi bwo kugura ibyo kurya umuryango mpuzamahanga ushinzwe guteza imbere imirire uhamya ko inzara aricyo kintu gituma abantu bahunga ingo zabo. Bamwe mu bantu batuye isi bibasiwe n’ingaruka zo kwimuka ni impunzi zihunga ibihugu byabo kubera gutinya kwicwa. Mu Rwanda hari inkambi zigera muri 6 zituyemo impuzi z’abanyecongo ndetse n’izabarundi zahunze amakimbirane muri ibyo bihugu. GHI ikorera mu nkambi ya Mahama ituyemo impunzi zigera 50,000 z’abarundi, mu mahugurwa kubijyanye nubuzima y’ibyumweru 14 ndetse n’amahugurwa kubijyanye n’ubuhinzi bworozi amara ibyumweru 9, dukorana n’imiryango dukorana nayo biciye muri gahunda yacu y’ibigo nderabuzima. Gahunda yacu ifite akamaro cyane cyane mu ireme ry’inkambi kubera ibura ry’ibisubizo ku kibazo cy’imirire mibi ndetse no gutungwa gusa ni’ibyo kurya by’imfashanyo rimwe na rimwe biba bidafite intungamubiri yuzuye. Hanyuma impunzi zihura n’ibibazo bikomeye byo kubura indyo yuzuye. Mu nkambi GHI ikoreramo, yateguye amahugurwa yigisha abantu gukoresha ibiribwa bihari mugutegura ifunguro rifite intungamibiri yuzuye bakoresheje amazi make, inkwi nke, ndetse nibikoresho bikeya. Biciye mu  mahugurwa yihariye ndetse no mwitangwa ry’imbuto, ubufasha abakoranabushake batanga mu buhinzi ndetse nabantu badufashije mu guteka, GHI yerekana ubushake mu gushaka ibisubizo nyabyo ku mirire mibi yabana baba mu nkambi ya Mahama ndetse impunzi zikagira uburenganzira bwo kugira amahitamo mu ndyo barya.

Idodo nazo ziri mu byakoreshejwe mu kwerekana uburyo bategura ifunguro rifite intungamubiri yuzuye byabereye mu nkambi ya Mahama amafoto yafashwe na Maggie Andresen.

Muri uyu mwaka, 2017, inzego zitandukanye zishinzwe ibijyanye nihunga ry’abantu bagomba kumenyekanisha iteka ndetse n’ubryo habaho iterambere ry’icyaro. Mu buryo bwo gushyiraho amahirwe yo guteza imbere udece abantu bahunga baba batuyemo, ibihugu byakira abantu bahunga bigira amahirwe yo kubona abantu baba bafite imbaraga n’ubushake bwo gukora cyane ngo babone imibereho. Guhunga bibera cyane  mu gihugu kurusha kugisohokamo, bityo rero guteza imbere icyaro bituma imiryango iguma hamwe ahogushaka ahandi batura. Gushyiraho imirire ikwiye ndetse n’iterambere bituma ibyo byose byoroha ariyo mpamvu GHI ikora ibishoboka byose ngo ihereze imiryango yibasiwe n’imirire mibi mu Rwanda hategendewe ku bihugu baturukamo.