The participants in the inclusive farm project weeding a rice field. | © S. Kabo / HI
Omo has been trained in farming techniques and business management by the inclusive farm project in Sierra Leone. As a result, her family's living conditions have improved.
Omo D. George is 48 years old. She is the mother of six children and has a physical disability. Omo is taking part in the inclusive farm project in Sierra Leone, where she has learned to grow mushrooms and cereals and to manage a small business. Thanks to the training she has been given, she is now able to provide a sustainable income for her family. And has learnt how it feels to be part of a cohesive community. Omo explains.
My disability stems from a small sore on my foot. I treated it for a while before taking a diabetes test, which came back positive.
At first, I took several medications to help me feel better, but I quickly ran out of money. I couldn’t afford to continue my treatment and the situation worsened. In the end, I had no choice but to follow my doctor's advice and have an amputation.
I ran a small business for a few years. It was my family's main source of income, but I barely made enough for us to live on. Fortunately, when the inclusive farm project started up, things started to change.
The aim of mushroom production is to reduce poverty in our community. On the farm, we have been trained in the various stages of mushroom production and in how to grow rice, maize and groundnuts.
The training courses were comprehensive and in-depth and gave us solid skills. I learnt how to grow mushrooms and how to look after them. I now know how to control variables such as temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels to optimise my production.
Thanks to the different training courses offered by the project, I've also learnt how to manage a business and make more profit as part of my day-to-day activity. I really like this aspect of the project; it has helped me to develop my business and make it grow. Today, I know how to manage my personal savings and life at home has improved a lot.
Through this project, I've been able to interact with people from different backgrounds. I enjoy these exchanges, the work we do together and the fact that we have a common goal. All this helps me to feel included in the activities of my community.
The encouragement and ongoing support of the HI, NETHIPS and Visit Sierra Leone teams have kept me motivated. It's thanks to their support that I embarked on this adventure and I'm determined to succeed!