Bulumela Farmers’ Association

Bulumela Community Integrated Project

This is a typical team of marginalized people in a rural setting. With the realization that poor people have potentials to change their socio-economic destinies and improve their well-being if guided and/or supported, community members were mobilized to do something in that direction. They were constantly helped in meetings to realize the need for socio-economic change by using the rich available local resources (fertile land, water and man power). Beginning with 15 members in a community of over 15,000, a team was constituted and set out to carry out three major activities that feed each other in some ways: farming, child care and education . Through agriculture on the available free fertile land, they can have enough for home use and sell others to support their children in school.  A community nursery or pre-primary school was initiated under the same team for their own children because most government schools are of low quality and offer no nursery education. The agricultural products then feed children in the school and support parents meet school requirements.  Managed by local community members and though still rudimentary and financially struggling, the project’s progress is visible.

The lives of the members of this team are changing tremendously (see some of the outcomes in the pictures below). Many have learned that using local resources such as land and water, and working together as a team is the best approach for social and economic development. We are in process of mobilising other teams in this same regard. We hope to expand this idea to a network of teams all over the region.

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The project is an illustration of how a simple horticulture can be  carried out by a typical village team. The parents go digging (manually) plant and tender for the crops above. When they harvest, they give some to the school for feeding children (porridge). The other is sold for household needs. Some families have acquired grinding machines to ground the corn locally. Our dream is to see this project grow to a big commercial farm under local management. The team is now in dire need of a tractor and watering machine (for irrigation). Otherwise, the project can be self sustaining and supports itself.

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