Due to the severe droughts suffered in Moldova we sent out an appeal to raise fund to support the farmers whose harvest had failed! What an amazing response with over £10,500 being raised. This is from Slavic Duman our partner out in Dancu and head of Tabita, who describes the situation and what the money is being used for:-
“The pandemic has not been the only source of challenges. This is year as you know, already we experienced the worst drought in over 40 years. Consequently, extremely dry conditions in the summer severely damaged all of the crops including, wheat, barley, corn, sunflower and even the vegetables that people grew in their gardens. As you know, The majority of poor people from our community are small farmers who completely depend on agriculture. Most families rely on what they can grow in their gardens to survive the winter period but, unfortunately this year, the drought destroyed up to 80% of their produce.
Every year Tabita is helps the poorest farmers to work their land and make it more productive so that they can have a basic living. This year we helped 108 farmers. These farmers and their families who lost almost all their crops, were very worried about surviving coming winter with so little to eat and so little to feed their livestock. Usually in a good year, these people would have lots of jars filled with winter preserves, but this year they just looking to their empty jars in the cellars and having no hope for the future. They were also looking at their empty maize storage places and wondering how they would feed their chickens and animals which they depend on.
This is why it was such a great surprise and a blessing to receive such a wonderful financial gift from Link to Hope towards helping farmers through these difficult times. Your wonderful gift of came with perfect timing and has brought two great benefits;
Short term help – In a good year each of the 108 farmers would receive from Tabita 400 kg of wheat and 150 kg of sunflower. Both wheat and sunflower are essential for making bread, cooking oil and animal feed over winter. However, this year because of the drought, Tabita was faced with a very hard decision about what to do with the very little harvest. But praise be to God for He is a wonderful Father who takes care of all next years needs. We received some wonderful donations from Breadline (another UK charity) and this helped us towards paying off Tabita debts which were outstanding this year for the seeds, fuel etc which we had used in the winter 2019 and spring 2020 for sowing all the crops which now had been destroyed. Normally we will pay for the seed’s etc from the money that the harvest makes. Then we received the wonderful gift from you which helped us just in time to buy seeds, fertilizer and fuel to plant approximately 20 ha of essential wheat and barley that we will harvest next year for the farmers. This meant that with your help and Breadlines we did not have to sell what remained of the harvest to pay off bills and to pay for next years crops which enabled us to give each of the 108 farmers 150 kg of wheat and 50 kg of sunflower instead of nothing. The farmers we support understood the decision which had been made to help them in this way and even though they received less than previous years, all were very grateful and encouraged because in the short term over winter months it will still help their families survive. We will of course continue to help these families with food parcels and other aid where we can and we are very grateful that in recent months we received some kind donations from Breadline and others for this purpose.
Long term help – As I mentioned above your help not only helped us to provide the essential short-term help to the 108 farmers to support them over the winter months but enabled Tabita to plan for the essential crop needs for the farmers and their families in 2021. Otherwise they would have nothing to look forward to and no hope at all. It is a great encouragement and a blessing to help people today and tomorrow with food parcels etc but as many would say here that they cannot see their future without working their land because that is their main source of living. Over the winter we still want to help these families with food parcels but with great determination and commitment we are continuing to pray and find ways to keep the agriculture going as we know that this helps poor families have a sustainable livelihood
If there are no crops next year to look forward to then we fear many people will leave the village in search of work in other countries leaving many more vulnerable elderly people and children to look after themselves. We are especially concerned for the elderly and the girls who are left and at big risk from trafficking. We are going to use some of the money to buy seeds and fertilizers for the next season. It will make a big difference if we buy the seeds and fertilizers now as the price will increase a lot in the Spring. Buying now will save about 25%. From our experience and perspective we truly believe this would be the most wise way to use these funds towards helping the farmers and their families”
A huge thank you to everyone that donated to the appeal. It is wonderful to know that the farmers can now plan ahead and plan seeds for 2021 without fear and with hope and expectation.