Dear Friends and Supporters of Women Rising – Welcome to our Fall Update!

March Corn Crop

Yes, it has been quite a while since we last posted on our critical work in the DRC, and there is so much exciting news to share. Please read on to learn about all our recent accomplishments.

Accomplishments to date

  • The 9 women farmers wrapped up the highly successful first year of food production (April 2021-April 2022) on the first Women Rising hectare, harvesting more than 1,300 pounds of food, which was shared among their 3 villages!
  • Completed our comprehensive mini pilot evaluation. We are using this valuable outcome to increase visibility and credibility of the Project, as well as to inform the 2022-2023 full hectare pilot. Among our key findings, we found that:
    • The projected optimum number of farmers per hectare is 25
    • Farmer stipends are critical, at least for the immediate future, to ensure the women can devote the needed time to crop production
    • Securing more land is vital so that more women can participate, more people can have food, and more land is protected in the face of wildcat mining operations pushing villagers from their homelands.
  • Recruited and engaged a cohort of 25 women farmers and 9 elder women advisors from the three surrounding villages for the 2022-2023 season, including 5 of our first-year cohort who are serving as production leaders.
  • Devoted significant time and energy to fundraising from small family foundations (the next step in our strategy), resulting in 2 grants and the strong likelihood of at least one more before the end of 2022. We are grateful to USA for Africa and the Swift Foundation for helping advance this vital work. 
  • Purchased the second hectare of farmland adjacent to the current hectare so we can expand!

Our focus now is to raise more funds, conduct a successful 2022-2023 production year, fence the second hectare, and identify leadership support for our DRC Project Lead, Kasuu.

As we continue to expand our fundraising efforts and gain more traction, we would love to hear from you about any foundations you know of that might be interested in supporting a small organization like ours in the hotbed of cobalt mining in southern DRC. As a local, women-centered and women-governed agricultural project, Women Rising focuses on the intersection of food, safety, and a healthy earth. Our pathway is to provide secure land tenure and opportunities and support for women of the DRC to create healthy, sustainable lives for themselves and their families, and increase food security in their communities.

Delivering some harvest to the villages

We thank you for believing in this dream and for helping us bring the dream into reality. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Chingwell and Archer