Rice Bowls for Catholic Relief Services Change Lives

Posted in: Social Justice

Encounter Lent with CRS Rice Bowls.

Rice Bowls are available for pick up in the narthex. Please consider them as tools to help you encounter Lent in yourself, with your neighbors throughout the world, and with your God.

During the first week of Lent, we encounter the work CRS does in India.

 Encounter the Singh Family

When the Malaguni River in East India floods, Megha and Raj Singh, their two children and their extended family cannot get to the nearest market—nearly five miles away—to buy and sell food. If the waters do not recede quickly, their rice fields fail, and their animals become sick from diseases spread through dirty water.  The family faces financial danger.

That’s why CRS is helping the Singh family prepare for flooding with new farming tools and techniques. Now Raj plants his fields worry-free using a special type of rice that can survive flooding. He can collect and save his seeds for future use. And he now has the resources he needs to vaccinate his cows, ensuring they, too, survive the floods.

Megha grows vegetables in a kitchen garden, so her family has healthy meals even when she can’t visit the market. During past floods, the family had to survive solely on rice. But now, planting veggies in special sacks, she is able to raise the plants above flood lines, ensuring her family has reliable access to nutritious food.

Just as important, Megha has learned new ways of growing food, so that the entire family gets the most nutrition out of every meal. Now, the whole Singh family is healthier, and with these new ways of farming, they can continue to thrive, even during floods.

Rajkishore (Raj) Baliar Singh (left), with his wife Megharani (Megha) Baliar Singh.
The Singh family lives in Deipur Village in Block Kanas, Puri district, Odisha state in Eastern India. They receive assistance through CRS’ Community-Based Disaster Preparedness (CBDP) program. CBPD provides a range of disaster preparedness and resilience interventions, such as livestock vaccinations, improved varieties of rice that can withstand flooding, kitchen gardens, bag gardens and nutrition education. All of these interventions help the family withstand natural disasters and personal crises, and often allows them to save money for other family needs.
The 3 goals of CBPD are 1) preparedness, 2) mitigating agriculture and livestock losses, and 3) early recovery, which includes kitchen gardens because they’re fast growing.
CRS runs CBPD in partnership with the Society for Women Action Development (SWAD) and also received technical assistance from the Central Rice Research Institute. CBDP receives funding from the COFRA Foundation in Europe.

For more Stories of Hope, go to http://www.crsricebowl.org/stories-of-hope

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