A group photo of community members participating in the nutrition and vegetable garden training conducted by Trobby Kandala and the Village to Village Federation in Sierra Leone. (Photo: Courtesy of Trobby Kandala)

By Trobby Kandala
February 7, 2023 | SIERRA LEONE

The 2022 rainy season started early, with our first rains arriving around mid-May. In preparation for the season, we developed training on nutrition and vegetable gardening. We visited two communities that are located approximately 150 milesfrom the town where I live, but it took us two days to cover the three communities we targeted:  Mantantuh village from Cambia District, Mapoli village from Portloco District, and Rogban village from Tonkolili District.

Trobby Kandala (left) talks with community members during the nutrition and vegetable garden training in Sierra Leone. Photo: Courtesy of Village to Village Federation

The training was successful, though we had our share of transportation challenges, but we made it there and arrived back home safely. At some point, we crossed a big river on a canoe to get to our last village. I conducted the training, and a field officer and my supervisor from the Village to Village Federation helped with translations.

Trobby Kandala learning to maintain balance in the long canoe that transports passengers across the river. Photo: Courtesy of Village to Village Federation

It was really an amazing experience. I learned quite a few things about the culture of this area of Sierra Leone because I conducted the training in a way that almost everyone was able to participate, giving them opportunities to share their knowledge about the crops we were discussing.

Crossing the wide river to get to one of the villages in the long canoe was a bit scary, but the experience turned out to be fun in the end. The boat is designed to carry at least 20 passengers with their hand luggage. The experience kept reminding me of how God loves his people and protects them from different dangers by giving them knowledge to keep them safe.

Community members traveling with Trobby Kandala in the long canoe in Sierra Leone. Photo: Courtesy of Village to Village Federation

Our training covered methods of growing, organic production and post-harvest handling of crops. We explained the different food classes. We also described the nutrients found in different vegetables and how they help the body. We distributed a few seeds for the participants to try out right after the training, including onion, carrot, tomato, pepper and okra. We will revisit the communities to check on people’s progress with their crops.

Trobby Kandala works with the Village to Village Federation in Sierra Leone as an environmental advocate. He participates with local communities on different agriculture projects with the goal of providing food security and a balanced diet to those he serves.

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