© Tommy Trenchard
« We are all farmers. It’s in our blood! »
David, who is 26, came to Bidi Bidi refugee camp last August. Back home in Yei, South Sudan, he had just qualified as a teacher, when he was forced to escape from soldiers on a shooting spree who killed his friends. “I didn’t want to leave. I had just graduated from university so I wanted to stay and build something.”
At least he is teaching now, even though the circumstances aren’t exactly what he had in mind. “My job is to link Caritas to the farmers. I work with ten groups of 30-40 farmers.” He has been trained by Caritas in modern agricultural techniques.
“They taught us a lot about farming as a business, both kitchen gardening and field production. We came to see we just weren’t doing things the right way before. I teach them about climate-smart farming and about different plant varieties and how to look after them. And I discourage deforestation.”
David feels very encouraged by the positive response from farmers. “Some of the farmers come out of the training like different people. Everyone is now eager to see what will happen.”