Street Child has successfully completed a desperately needed nationwide programme delivering seed to every farming family caring for charity-supported Ebola orphans in Sierra Leone – just in time for the 2015 planting season!

In total 1,141 families from across the country, who are collectively supporting 3,996 orphans, received rice or groundnut seed in May and June for immediate planting. Families received varying amounts depending on the number of orphaned children they were supporting.

Street Child is committed to seeing every single Ebola orphan in family, in school and with that family able to independently and sustainably meet the child’s basic needs.

In April, Street Child’s nationwide team surveyed all of the known 4,000 orphan-supporting families to see what kind of business support they wanted. These 1,141 families chose agriculture support.

493 families wanted groundnut support.

698 families chose rice.

With the planting season already underway and no other organisation seemingly preparing to support these families this way, Street Child urgently prioritized getting seeds to these families before the rains.  For many the issue was not just the extra burden of the new orphans under their roof but the fact that Ebola had massively disrupted harvests in late 2014 and many families were in any case facing the prospect of having very little to plant.

We made it happen!

The result will be that these families will be in a significantly enhanced financial position to care for these extra children after harvest, later in the year. A strong harvest will see up to a 300% return on investment.

Kelfa Kargbo, Street Child of Sierra Leone Country Director, made the following comment, “I'm so proud of our teams! This is Street Child at its best – working fast, nationwide, sustainability-focused, for the poorest, and delivering something vital that no other agency was prepared to or able to do. I'm just delighted – as are these families. And we are all praying for a bumper harvest. ”

Tom Dannatt, Street Child UK Director, added, “I would like to extend massive thanks to the three British foundations who heard our call and provided the vast bulk of the funds for this fantastically worthwhile exercise. Meanwhile, we will now turn our efforts to raising the funds and to address the livelihoods of the remaining orphan-supporting families in urban and less remote rural settings, whose needs are equally important”.

Click here to download a table of  seeds distributed by region.