Nestled behind the Kerith Children's Home and health clinic are several lush acres of land that the ministry uses for cultivating and harvesting a variety of native Ugandan crops, as well as for raising a number of different farm animals. Due to the fertile soil, mild tropical climate, and predictable rainy seasons, agriculture projects are highly successful endeavors in most parts of Uganda and can provide a consistent source of food or income for landowners. Kerith Ministries plants different types of crops year-round on its land and routinely rotates the types of crops planted in order to keep the soil fertile and produce high yields during harvests. Although the exact types of crops planted can vary from year-to-year, they typically plant native staple foods such as maize (corn), sweet potatoes, matoke (green bananas), cassava, and cabbage.
The crops are primarily planted, cared for, and harvested by the two matrons and the children who live at Kerith Children’s Home. The children especially enjoy tending to and harvesting the crops, and often start competitions with each other to see who can plant or harvest the largest number of crops within a certain period of time. Once the crops have been harvested, Kerith Ministries keeps a portion of them in a secure storehouse to be used for the children’s daily meals, another portion is sold to the local market in Pallisa to generate income for the daily operations of the children’s home, and a final portion is distributed by Pastor Sam and his wife Mercy to the most vulnerable and needy families in the surrounding village.
In addition to the crops, Kerith Ministries also raises a diverse number of farm animals, which are used as both a valuable source of food for the children at Kerith Children’s Home as well as a source of sustainable income (from the sale of the animals at the local market) to help offset operating costs of multiple ministry activities and programs. While there is some regular fluctuation in the exact numbers of animals owned by the ministry, Kerith typically cares for two dairy cows, between 8-10 goats, several dozen egg-laying chickens, and around 15-20 pigs. The children who live at Kerith Children’s Home absolutely love feeding and tending to all the different animals, and they especially enjoy collecting eggs from the chickens each morning before they go to school. It is our prayer that these important agriculture projects will continue to grow and expand in size and depth in future years, and that they will create a consistent and reliable source of income for Kerith Ministries as it works towards achieving its overarching goal of becoming fully self-sustainable.
Man Up and Go is proud to support Kerith's agriculture initiatives, which includes resourcing and purchasing land and providing training for agricultural best practices.