Institution: Africa

Meet Zimbabwe’s smart farmers

By Osman Mohamed Osman, IFRC Thomas Kafas Shumba smiles as he inspects his only surviving portion of maize crop plantations, adjacent to his mud-walled house—in Wanasi village, Zimbabwe. Clad in a printed grey shirt and a pair of black trousers, the father of five moves around his tiny farm, showing a team from Zimbabwe Red Cross how conservation farming, a new technique, saved some of his crops, despite poor rains a month ago. Eighty farmers, including Shumba, were trained by the Zimbabwe Red Cross on keyhole farming—an agricultural system in which crops are planted in circular garden beds—with a...

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“If everyone helped, suffering would be minimized”- Namibian woman makes a difference in her community

By Rosemary Nalisa, Namibia Red Cross Society Hileni Naukushu is a respected local leader (headwoman) of the Okadhilodhi Area. She is also known for wearing a different hat as the head and champion of the Namibia Red Cross Society Community Mobilisation Unit, in the Omusati Region—since 2013. “There is a common adage that says that two hands are better than one. If we all combine our efforts we can improve our communities,” says Naukushu. “There are many needy people in the community and if everyone would get involved with helping, instead of waiting for someone else to do it,...

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“It’s not a choice between security and dignity” – IFRC President on suffering of migrants in Niger

Niamey/Nairobi/Geneva, 22 February 2018 – Policies that prioritize control at the expense of the safety and dignity of migrants can be cruel, counterproductive, and contribute to increased suffering among people making their way towards the north African coast. This was the assessment of Francesco Rocca, the President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), after the first part of his four day visit to Niger. “It’s not a choice between security and dignity,” said Mr Rocca, at the end of his visit to Agadez. “We have to reject, absolutely, the idea that the decision by governments to reduce or constrain migration can ever justify the increased suffering of migrants”. Mr Rocca visited Agadez in northern Niger with Ali Bandiare, the President of the Red Cross of Niger. Agadez is a city on the edge of the Sahara Desert and on a major route for people travelling from West Africa to Libya and then beyond. Mr Rocca met migrants who spoke of being stranded in Niger, unable to head north because of increased security, and unable to return home. “There are migration policies that have failed for decades now,” said Mr Rocca. “People still want to move. What changes is that they are forced to take even greater risks, to take even more dangerous routes. “People in Agadez told me that the Sahara is just...

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About the IFRC

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world's largest humanitarian network and is guided by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity.