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  • Teddy Katono

Land Restoration: A seed of hope

By Teddy Katono

The warm evening breeze swept through Juma’s small backyard as the sun began its steady descent behind the distant hills in the vast Giriama land. He sat leaning against the gnarled Baobab tree, hands buried in the rough soil, as his mind wandered contemplating the challenging realities of his village with rising despair. What hope was there when every passing season seemed to bring only harder times?

As a young boy, Juma’s days had been filled with carefree fun, exploring the lush countryside with his friends. But in recent years, the landscape has changed into something barren and tired. Prolonged droughts had withered the fertile earth, and the farms that once flourished now struggled to produce even meager harvests. Hunger and sickness had become constant companions for his people.

Worse still was the silent exodus of the village’s youth, who saw no future in the depleted lands and drifted away to cities and towns in search of opportunities. Juma feared he too would be forced to leave behind all he knew, just as his elder sister Neema had done the year before. There must be another way, though he could not see it.

A familiar voice drew Juma from his troubling thoughts. He looked up to see his dear friend Kadzo approaching, a woven basket in hand. “Still dreaming under the tree, I see,” she said with a playful grin. “Your dreaming will get us nowhere, my friend. Come, come, I’ve brought us some millet porridge and cassava for supper."

Juma accepted the bowl gratefully and tucked it in. For all their hardships, small kindnesses like Kadzo’s reminded him of the strength in the community. Between mouthfuls, he voiced his deepest fears. “The land gives nothing anymore, yet we cannot live without it. How long before we are left with nothing at all?”

Kadzo regarded him thoughtfully. “Perhaps the land is tired”. We have asked too much without giving back in return. Our grandparents farmed differently”. She spoke not out of naivety but from careful observation of the village’s failing ways. “What if we tried to remember the old ways? Used natural methods to bring life back to the soil?”

A timid seed of hope began to quicken in Juma’s heart. Kadzo was not one for fanciful ideas. She saw where others did not. If anyone could make such a plan work, it was she. “You may be right. But how could we ever convince the others?"

“We will start small and let our work do the convincing since we have some indigenous farming knowledge.” Kadzo’s steady resolve was just what Juma needed to fan that small spark into a flame. Where he saw only problems, she found possibilities. Together, maybe they could plant the seeds of a new future for their home.

The next day, under the warm morning sun, Juma and Kadzo gathered their handful of friends to share their budding vision. Most were skeptical, but a committed few pledged their support. And so, with hopeful hearts and willing hands, they began clearing a neglected tract of communal land, making ready to cultivate not just crops but a restoration that might nourish their village for generations to come. Their humble demonstration farm was but a fragile seed, yet in that seed lay all the promise of rebirth for their beloved homeland.

Join us and get involved today on our restoration programs by contacting us today

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