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Amid the quickly-constructed mud hut-style houses assembled on 30 by 30 meter plots, there is an unexpected and extraordinary scene at the Palabek refugee settlement in northern Uganda: thriving household gardens. And, now, a street market.
More than 2.5 million people from South Sudan have fled from their homes in search of safe haven from war, violence and widespread food shortages. And nearly half have found refuge in neighboring Uganda. The Palabek settlement opened in December 2017 and is now home to more than 37,000 refugees.
Funded entirely by your generosity, families in Palabek started planting gardens earlier this year. You provided seeds, tools and the training to cultivate the dry land.
The harvests have been abundant. Refugee farmers are growing enough to both feed their families and to sell for income.
The vibrant market is a sign of the program’s success. Laid out on blankets in neat rows are all sorts of vegetables: beans, cow peas, orange sweet potatoes and okra.
And the project potential is growing unexpectedly. With high demand for okra both nationally and internationally, farmer groups are forming among the refugees and local farmers to focus on okra production. The local government has asked Lutheran World Relief to further support farmers to produce the vegetable and a Turkish company has already expressed interest in buying up to 500 metric tons of okra.
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Our staff recently visited Palabek and created a beautiful, visual story to take you deeper into this work you make possible. Be sure to check it out!