Outreach, Inc to Begin The ‘WE RISE’ Project on 8,000 acre Shallom Farm in Tanzania
June 19, 2015
Rick McNary, VP of Private and Public Partnerships, Outreach,Inc.
Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton, founders of Outreach, Inc. based in Union and Des Moines, Iowa, also direct the work of the Outreach, Inc. NGO in Tanzania. Approximately two years ago, Floyd and Kathy partnered with Tanzanian Regional Commissioner, Dr P.V. Kone, to acquire the 8,000 acre Shallom Farm in the Tanga Region. The farm was originally part of the National Ranch so there were no people living on the land that were displaced; however, there are two villages just outside the border of the farm. The focus of this project will be the residents of Mzeri village, one of the bordering villages.
WE RISE (Women Engaging Research to Insure a Sustainable Economy) is a scientific-based research project that will provide information that will be used to create greater economic and educational opportunities and empowerment for women farmers of Tanzania. Since the information will be drawn directly from the targeted population, it will be more valuable in strategic planning. The empowerment of these Tanzanian women will benefit the health and well-being of their families and their communities.
The vision for Shallom Farm is to develop a research-based demonstration farm that will serve as a nucleus farm to provide environmental improvement, educational opportunities, and for-profit agribusiness development. In order to insure future success of the farm and the people who live nearby, a strategic plan has been created which involves three important areas:
- Building relationships with the people who live in the area.
- Soliciting and understandingthe needs and requests of the people first; then developing a plan around that knowledge that insures local ownership of projects related to agribusiness, health, and education.
- Establishing base-line scientific measurements that can be monitored long termand evaluated to insure success.
To accomplish the above objectives using proven research methodology and scientific measurements, we will conduct a Needs Assessment Survey particularly focused on women and children.
- WEAI – Women Empowerment in Agriculture Indexis a survey-based index designed to measure the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agricultural sector. The WEAI was initially developed as a tool to reflect women’s empowerment that may result from the United States government’s USAID Feed the Future Initiative, which commissioned the development of the WEAI. The WEAI can also be used more generally to assess the state of empowerment and gender parity in agriculture, to identify key areas in which empowerment needs to be strengthened, and to track progress over time.
The need to increase agricultural production combined with the ground-floor opportunity that Shallom Farm provides is an excellent intersection of partnership. In particular, the focus on women and children mirrors the international emphasis by governments, foundations, researchers, and businesses focused on sustainable models based on scientific research.
Outreach has taken over 1,200 medical professionals and support staff to Tanzania and also has two Children’s Feeding Centers at which we feed nearly 1,000 children a day. Dr. Deborah Ann Turner, MD, will oversee this project. Her considerable medical knowledge combined with international relations expertise in health care will insure the success of this project.
The WE RISE project will create social impact that can be quantified and qualified through continued monitoring and evaluation. Most importantly, the WE RISE Project will provide a pathway tosustainable development which will result in greater economic opportunity, food security, environmental enhancement, and education for some of the poorest people on earth.