Thursday, 9 October 2008

REAP (Rural Extension with Africa's Poor)

Today I want to share the news that has just come in from a friend who is working with REAP (Rural Extension with Africa's Poor). He writes -

"At the beginning of September, I travelled to Dodoma in Tanzania on behalf of World Relief Canada(their equivalent of Tearfund). REAP's work is very much in line with what they hope to achieve. We were revising the work plan for the Diocese of Central Tanganyika development programme as regards food security and the environment. This was followed by a week of training relating to the outcomes, including two days with the pastors and church workers on the Biblical basis of stewardship.

"The REAP team had a very successful week at their Kisumu Show stand this year. They came back with two trophies and a second place! The second place was for the Best Stand in Environmental Management, for which they were particularly pleased to have beaten many of the 'big boys', including the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources! The Kisumu Show has proved to be an ideal platform to promote REAP's many concepts, which enable Africa's poor to improve their standard of living by more efficiently using resources that are readily available to them. One exhibit at the show was a fireless cooker that enables slow cooking to continue and will also keep food warm.

"Another series of workshops are planned in November to establish new church contacts. This will be a chance to bring more people on board. The starting point will be Natural Medicines, but the Biblical basis of stewardship, and all that that implies, will be incorporated throughout the training.

"An example of Natural Medicines is the aloe vera plant. When broken off, the leaves ooze sap, which is a soothing healer if applied immediately after a burn, so it is very valuable when grown near to where the cooking is done. Moringa leaves are an extremely efficient source of nutrients and when dried can be easily stored and added to the family meal. Over the last few years, the introduction and cultivation of moringa trees has been a major focus of REAP."

We are asked to pray that the vision of REAP's work will continue to spread throughout the continent of Africa and enable more people to live more productively and more comfortably. Our prayers are also needed for the annual Cush consultation being held this month in Sudan, bringing together the Christian NGOs, missions and churches and that faith may result in changed lives.

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