Friday, 10 February 2017 00:00

When Women are Empowered to Succeed, Everyone Wins

When women have opportunities in agriculture, they pay it forward.

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Sharing knowledge in Nicaragua

Liliam Morales lives in one of the driest areas of Nicaragua, in the Department of Madriz. With support through our Seeds of Survival program, Liliam has diversified her farm, learned how to improve the health of her soil, and created her own organic insect repellents.

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She'll now be able to share her knowledge with other farmers in her region so that more people can benefit from her farming savvy.

Working together in Burkina Faso


When Bibaba Belem's husband of 19 years died, she put her gardening skills to work growing food to support her four children. First, she planted a small vegetable garden near the well in her village, Fili-Fili, Burkina Faso. Then she encouraged other women to do the same. And they did.

Following Bibaba's lead, the women in the village grew vegetables - and the size of the garden. Plots took root farther from the well, radiating from the centre like a life-sustaining sunburst. Having been trained in market gardening earlier in life, Bibaba shared her knowledge and experience with the women who came to the grassroots community garden. Together, they planted bushes and built fences to protect plots from foraging animals. When Bibaba decided the gardening group needed more external support, she found the Association for the Protection of Nature (APN) Sahel, USC Canada's local partner in the region. Ever since, APN Sahel and USC Canada have had the pleasure of supporting the women's group with additional equipment, training, and a new well.


Forming co-ops in Mali

In Mali, it can be hard for women to access land. A focus of the Seeds of Survival program has been to help remove this obstacle to women who want to earn a living farming.

Community market gardens give women a space to grow vegetables for their family and to sell. With USC Canada support they're forming cooperatives and marketing their wares directly to families in their area – cutting out the usual middlemen that have cut into their profits in the past.

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LottaHitschmanova tbnWhat's in a Name?

We’re called USC Canada because we started out way back in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee, founded by the energetic Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. We’re still planting the seeds that Lotta sowed. Find out more about our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova.



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