Helping Hungry People Can Help Us, Too

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Written by Sarah Corson, SIFAT co-founder

A search on my cell phone tells me there are 281 million migrants in the world today. The situation presents life-threatening circumstances to the migrants themselves, as well as untold suffering and chaos to the people in the areas to which they go. SIFAT believes an answer to solving this problem is to work on the root causes, which start, not at our border, but long before in the homeland of the migrants. SIFAT hosts workshops and training practicums on community development and providing one’s basic human needs. We have had a number of Central Americans attend a weekend training in their hometown and, afterward, tell us they had planned to cross our border to look for work, which was nonexistent where they lived. However, SIFAT’s training gave them hope and ideas of how they could make a living in their own hometown. “We don’t want to be migrants,” they told us, “but when our families are hungry, we have to do something. Now you have taught us things we can use here at home. We have canceled our plan of migrating to the U.S. and are going to try your ideas to make a living at home.”

Yurima is a Venezuelan Christian working with a needy community, where they had little land to grow food. She first came to study with SIFAT in 1994. She has started a community garden behind her church and has gotten her people interested in growing their own food. Later, the church bought a larger plot of land in an area called Villa Paraiso. It is near Yurima’s home, but extends their outreach into this community of approximately 180 families.

In 2022, Yurima took classes from trainer Oswaldo Páez at SIFAT’s Central American Training Center in Costa Rica.

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