The tropical sunshine can be harsh in Ethiopia, especially for seedlings, so newly sown beds are protected with the large paddle-like leaves of taro that keep moisture in the soil or under reed-roofed frames that shade developing seedlings like a parasol.
Sharing simple techniques like these has transformed lives and seeing them in action has been truly amazing. In just a few years, families are fed and have a surplice of beetroot, chillies and cabbages to sell at the market and money to send children to school.
The old adage that ‘to feed someone for life, give them a fishing rod’ is only partly true of Ripple Effect’s work. Sure, the sustainable cultivation of carrots (amongst others) brings weather-resilience and wealth but the real benefit is reaped from the sharing of wisdom and when children graduate from school. We all must take responsibility for looking after the soil but for a prosperity beyond fishing and farming, cultivation of knowledge is king.