A note from our newest staff member: Kristin Haas
Dear Seed Change Supporters,
I have been with the Seed Change team for almost three weeks now. I was initially excited to start working with Seed Change because it seemed to be one of the most effective forms of aid I had seen as demonstrated in the Value for Money Report. At first Seed Change seemed to be mostly an organization focused on financial stability. However, as tends to happen, over my first few weeks I have developed a more complex view of the organization. Since starting, I have gone into several villages to talk to farmers and learn about their experiences as a farmer in Tanzania and as a recipient of Seed Change services. I realised that, yes, Seed Change is about creating financial stability. But it is also about sending children to school, helping babies remain healthy through their vulnerable first few years, and enabling community members to support those most in need. You see, uplifting the farmers of a community uplifts the community itself. I have learned so much through these encounters and if there is one word to describe the Seed Change organization and Seed Change farmers it would have to be dedicated.
The Seed Change staff, both international and Tanzanian, are immensely dedicated to supporting farmers maximize their livelihood potential. Of course, this dedication reflects itself in small daily acts but also in larger activities such as the time we drove thirty minutes on a bumpy dirt road to get to a farmer’s home and walked another forty minutes to check on the health of the family’s trees.
The Seed Change farmers show even more dedication to improving their lives and increasing the quality of their farms. I think the poverty here is more glaring after seeing the prosperity in the capital, Dar Es Salaam. People in Kigoma know they are being left behind but they are also committed to bolstering up their entire family by dedicating themselves to their work. Seed Change farmers participate in farming lessons with unending questions about how to improve their farms. They know that their farms, and Seed Change trees specifically, are the route to achieving their goals for their entire family. That farmer who had to walk forty minutes to get from his home to his farm? He walks that forty minutes every day to carefully tend to his farm and most of his trees looked great. However, a few of the trees had some crinkly leaves and he needed the help of an entity with access to resources, such as Seed Change, to check it out and advise how to make his trees healthy again.
Perhaps most remarkable of all is the dedication of Seed Change donors like you who support farmers halfway across the world even when you will almost certainly never meet and will likely never directly benefit from the financial growth of these families. Yet, despite a lack of shared culture and language, you see these vulnerable farmers, and Seed Change’s work, as valuable to the world. Your support keeps me and the rest of the staff going on the most difficult of days. I am so proud to be working with you to improve the lives of these dedicated farmers.