Inside the palm of Muhammad’s hands is wrinkled up, dried out life. The pumpkin seeds are too dry, too worn-out, but they offer much promise.
Just a single seed signifies hope, a chance to start over, particularly among people who have encountered a traumatic crisis.
When carefully tended and given enough moisture, these seeds offer meals, change desolate landscapes.
It’s these farmers and these seeds that have transformed communities. Places that were once thought inhospitable are now green and ripe with harvests that, once sold, send children to school, the sick to the hospital and entrepreneurs to the marketplace.
As the international community celebrates World Food Day, we’re celebrating these 7 farm families, who represent thousands across eastern Africa.
After all, the food they grow could just end up on your dinner plate.
1. Muhammad in Kenya
This was not the life Muhammad wanted. He hoped to carry on the tradition of large-scale market gardening in Darfur, just like his father and grandfather.
But when vicious conflict arrived in Muhammad’s village, he ran with his family and a bag of his seeds.
Arriving in Kenya as a refugee, Muhammad became frustrated relying on food assistance. He decided to take action into his own hands, and found new opportunity thanks to that bag of seeds. Find out more
2. Workalem in Ethiopia
Like many women struggling with Ethiopia’s hunger crisis, Workalem used to rely on her husband’s income and his decisions on how money should be spent.
But once this 21-year-old mother of one joined a World Vision community gardening project for moms with young children, women’s relationships with their husbands changed. Find out how
3. Ahmed in Sudan
Ahmed used to be frustrated every time his crops were harvested. The yields were low, barely enough to earn an income from.
But when World Vision provided Ahmed and other people in his community with improved seeds and taught them how to use micro-irrigation, this father of 13 flourished. Find out who else benefited
4. Betty in Uganda
It’s been a bad year for 18-year-old Betty. Her home was attacked in South Sudan’s violent conflict, her mother abandoned their family and she fled her country. She arrived in northern Uganda with her three younger siblings as a refugee with nothing.
But seeds are erasing the string of bad luck. See how things have changed
The way Seraphina used to farm never produced enough harvest for her family to eat, let alone any income to help send her children to school. That’s changed. Find out how
6. Roba in Ethiopia
In Roba’s community, 20,000 people relying on coffee farming have been forced to rely on food assistance, after crops failed due to delayed and erratic rains.
Yet this father taking care of his 11 children is among them. Apple and potato seeds have enabled him to prevent hunger from entering his home. See the transformation
“I would go to school without taking breakfast. I was constantly hungry and could not concentrate,” says 12-year-old Veronica. But water harvesting technology transformed the dry land in her community. Now pawpaws, pumpkins, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, sorghum, tomatoes, onions and okra sprout on land that used to be abandoned during Kenya’s dry season. Learn more about this family