Discipleship Goes Global - Salvation Army Canada

Advertisement


Salvationist.ca | The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda

The Voice of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda
View RSS Feed

Archives

  • Oct16Thu

    Discipleship Goes Global

    Captain Heather Matondo reflects on her visit with farmers and food projects in Africa October 16, 2014
    Filed Under:
    World Missions
    Earlier this year, Captain Heather Matondo travelled to the African countries of Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso on a food study tour with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of Canadian churches and church-based agencies—including The Salvation Army—working to end global hunger.

    Canadian Foodgrains Bank provides emergency food relief in times of famine, drought or conflict. But most cases of hunger in the developing world are not a result of an emergency. Close to a billion people go to bed hungry every night, without enough food to lead an active, healthy life. Canadian Foodgrains Bank also addresses this challenge of chronic hunger and food insecurity.

    Captain Matondo learned about The Salvation Army's partnership with Canadian Foodgrains Bank while completing a work placement at the world missions department at territorial headquarters as part of her master of theological studies in international development at Wycliffe College in Toronto.

    “In my courses at school we were talking about environmental impacts on food security throughout the world,” says Captain Matondo, corps officer at East Toronto Citadel. “During my placement with World Missions, I did research on Sierra Leone to help develop resources for Partners in Mission. When I heard about this trip, the opportunity to see what I was learning about was exciting.”

    Along with nine other participants, Captain Matondo visited food projects and met the beneficiaries, learning about their lives and the issues they face—poverty, environmental degradation, gender inequality, poor health. In some areas, farmers with small plots are losing their land—and their livelihood—to large corporations. “We asked, what do you want us to do when we return home? They said, don't forget us.”

    A week after she returned home, Captain Matondo wanted to spend some time with her daughter, so she booked an overnight stay at a water park. As they waited to go down the waterslide, she watched water pouring onto the excited children below. “I was thinking, what a waste of water,” she says. “The bucket tips 1,000 gallons of water onto five children. If only I could take that bucket to the village in Burkina, where people struggle without enough water.  We just waste it.  I felt guilty for the rest of the day.”

    Since then, Captain Matondo has made simple changes, such as taking shorter showers and turning off the tap when brushing her teeth. The trip raised many questions for her and she is still trying to figure out how to respond to what she saw and heard. She hopes to share her experience by speaking to groups, and encourages people to become more aware of global issues and get involved.

    “I was able to see things through a different lens and gain a better understanding of the world we live in,” she says. “I learned how the actions and choices we make can have a big impact on individuals and families in developing countries.”

     
     Photos and Captions

     

    Children in Burkina Faso Children in Burkina Faso



    Canadian Foodgrains Bank food study tour participants and the team from Network Movement for Justice and Development in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Cpt Heather Matondo is in the middle. Canadian Foodgrains Bank food study tour participants and the team from Network Movement for Justice and Development in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Cpt Heather Matondo is in the middle.



    Cpt Matondo met farmer Fodi M. Konneh in Pujehun District, Sierra Leone. “It comes to a point in the year when there is no food left,” he told her. “I beg my brother (who has another farm) for food.” Konneh received seeds, tools and training in a new way of farming from Canadian Foodgrains Bank. This new method, lowland swamp farming, allows farmers to control the water that is supplied to the crops. After the harvest, the beneficiaries give seeds back to the project, supporting the next group of farmers. Konneh is now hopeful he will be able to feed his family of five for the whole year. Cpt Matondo met farmer Fodi M. Konneh in Pujehun District, Sierra Leone. “It comes to a point in the year when there is no food left,” he told her. “I beg my brother (who has another farm) for food.” Konneh received seeds, tools and training in a new way of farming from Canadian Foodgrains Bank. This new method, lowland swamp farming, allows farmers to control the water that is supplied to the crops. After the harvest, the beneficiaries give seeds back to the project, supporting the next group of farmers. Konneh is now hopeful he will be able to feed his family of five for the whole year.



    Cpt Matondo stayed with this family in the small village of Ngieya Fillie, Sierra Leone. “Their day-to-day life was an eye-opener for me. They don't have electricity and there were only two taps in the village where you could get water. There was no plumbing or washroom. Rats were scurrying around above my bed where the roof didn't quite meet the wall,” she says. “I was there for two days and really struggled in that situation. I was counting down the hours until we left, but they live like that every day.” Cpt Matondo stayed with this family in the small village of Ngieya Fillie, Sierra Leone. “Their day-to-day life was an eye-opener for me. They don't have electricity and there were only two taps in the village where you could get water. There was no plumbing or washroom. Rats were scurrying around above my bed where the roof didn't quite meet the wall,” she says. “I was there for two days and really struggled in that situation. I was counting down the hours until we left, but they live like that every day.”



    A sing along with children in Ngieya Fillie, Sierra Leone. “I asked one of the kids standing near me if they knew a song we could sing,” says Cpt Matondo. “Before I knew it, they started to sing and all of these other children came running over, singing, clapping and dancing. I was blessed to be right in the middle of it all.” A sing along with children in Ngieya Fillie, Sierra Leone. “I asked one of the kids standing near me if they knew a song we could sing,” says Cpt Matondo. “Before I knew it, they started to sing and all of these other children came running over, singing, clapping and dancing. I was blessed to be right in the middle of it all.”



    After Sierra Leone, the team travelled to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, where Cpt Matondo met Koanou Tindano, a woman with six children. Tindano received food assistance through a Canadian Foodgrains Bank project, funded in part by The Salvation Army. “Before, I used to walk through the community with shame because I couldn't feed my family,” she says. “Now I no longer have shame.” After Sierra Leone, the team travelled to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, where Cpt Matondo met Koanou Tindano, a woman with six children. Tindano received food assistance through a Canadian Foodgrains Bank project, funded in part by The Salvation Army. “Before, I used to walk through the community with shame because I couldn't feed my family,” she says. “Now I no longer have shame.”



    In Burkina Faso, people must walk long distances to collect water from a well, which they need to boil. During the dry season (November to April), the well is empty and they must travel even farther to find water, and carry the heavy jugs home. In Burkina Faso, people must walk long distances to collect water from a well, which they need to boil. During the dry season (November to April), the well is empty and they must travel even farther to find water, and carry the heavy jugs home.


    Leave a Comment