|Solidarity Farm, Riimenze
After Mass and breakfast this morning, Brother Chris, Brother Sylvanus, and I travelled to the Solidarity Farm in Riimenze. Even though Riimenze is not all that far away, the roads are quite bad and so it takes some time to travel there, especially after the rain has pooled in large potholes. Religious communities and “Non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) generally purchase vehicles with large tires and four wheel drive, like the Toyota “Land Cruiser”, so that they can navigate the challenging terrain.
We set out and saw a lot of sights on the way: large numbers of men, women, and children on foot or on bicycle, with many of the women balancing large baskets or packages on their heads. Many of them were coming to or from church or the market in Yambio. We passed large container trucks, too, coming from Uganda or the Congo and carrying supplies to replenish the markets in Yambio.
Along the way, we passed lots of small settlements: groupings of small huts, usually made with handmade bricks, and covered with thatched roofs. In the midst of this gathering of huts, one might also see a kind of open-air space covered with a large thatched roof. These were clearly spaces for liturgy or other community gatherings. We saw several Catholic parishes, as well as deacons, catechists, or priests gathered with people outdoors to celebrate the Eucharist or a Liturgy of the Word with communion. We passed an impressive structure, too: a primary and secondary school, boarding and day, for the children of the area sponsored and staffed by the Brothers of Christian Instruction (FIC).
Finally, we arrived at the Solidarity Farm in Riimenze. Currently staffed by four religious and a number of lay workers, this is a kind of teaching and demonstration farm that endeavors to train local people in the art and science of “sustainable agriculture”, how they can farm the land in ways that are sustainable over time, rotating crops and engaging in other practices that are designed to enhance and extend the productivity of the soil.
The religious community is currently made up of four members: Sister Josephine, RNDM, a Religious of Our Lady of the Missions, Brothers Joseph and Uche, Marist Brothers, and Brother Peter, a Brother of Saint Peter Claver.
Sister Josephine runs a preschool for the area children, while the Brothers staff the farm and teach the classes to local people who come to learn from them.
10 Gen 2022
David, Mission Promoter
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