Jackson's Story

You Took Our Burden Away
“I cannot grow enough food on my 1 ½ acres to feed my family. Can you help me?”

Some would criticize him for having two wives and seven children. Some people may think he should have planned better. The same people who think these things simply do not understand the culture of Africa. He lived in the bush for years during the war, running and scavenging with his family  for anything edible.

Jackson Nyumbari, 48 years of age, is no different than thousands of other men in South Sudan. They have been through too many years of war, are deeply concerned that those they love will not make it because of a lack of food and a dependence on either emergency foreign food aid, or his only other resort, pick away at his small acreage and ‘hope for the best’.

Jackson suddenly had another choice when the Savannah Farmers Cooperative (SFC) came up on his horizon in 2010.

That’s when he asked, “Can you help me?” We helped him with our tractors to plow what he could never have cultivated alone. We taught him the best use of his land in planting methods and crops.

He with his wives and oldest children had cleared another seven and a half acres. On the new total of ten acres he and his family grew nearly two metric tonnes of maize, plus all the vegetables and beans they would need.

He brought more than a ton of maize on a bicycle to sell to SFC from 2 ½ km away, one 100kg bag at a time.

Grinning with deep satisfaction, he told me that with the money he paid school fees for all his children old enough to go to school, bought a cow and started a little shop in the local market-place. He has clothes for everyone, money for medicines, and a second bicycle for travel and transport.

And he has plans. Big plans!

He wants to build a beautiful house (probably with a two-bicycle garage) and to eventually buy a tractor. He looks like a great success in the making.