Christian Aid

For some of us, Harvest might feel like a bygone tradition. But in communities across the world, it’s a source of joy. It’s a time to give thanks together, and realise what our collective strength of spirit can do.  With the right support, a harvest can be a lifeline – a way to change lives for good.  In this year’s Harvest Appeal, Christian Aid is standing with our global neighbours, and giving thanks.

Harvest time is coming. Five women chat and laugh as they tend rows of organic tomato plants, which are already loving the hot sunshine.

 

Kasthuri is the youngest. Her life wasn’t always like this. Like her friends, she was born into India’s Dalit community and has faced prejudice all her life: no rights, no security, no voice.  The caste system excludes millions of people from health, education, and the chance of a better future. But her farming collective is a lifeline.

The farm works because of EcoVeg. The project, run by Christian Aid partner ADISIL, has trained over 5,000 people from India’s excluded communities in natural farming. It provides marketing and logistics - at last, small-scale farmers can sell their crops and get a fair price. India’s market for organic food is set to treble by 2021; this is an opportunity for women like Kasthuri to build a sustainable livelihood for themselves and their children.

Kasthuri and her friends have seen how chemical farming takes away the soil’s vitality, damages its workers’ health and pushes people into debt. They talk proudly about the control and choice that natural farming gives them, and about how they have developed their skills. ‘Everything here is grown organically,’ says Kasthuri. ‘EcoVeg train us to prepare our own natural nutrients. Alone as a woman, I couldn’t do this, but together, we can be successful.’

 EcoVeg helps people to work with respect for the natural world, and in solidarity with each other. No wonder this kind of natural farming has been called “an agriculture of peace”.

In this Harvest Appeal, social and environmental justice go hand in hand. All over the world, people are working to achieve a sustainable future for themselves, and inspiring us to respect and protect Creation. We can stand together with them, and make this a season for chan

‘Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all.’  Galatians 6:9-10

Stand with your global neighbours – three things to do this week


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