Every night for years, Sylvester’s children looked up at the thatched roof overhead and prayed it wouldn’t rain. The roof—constructed of dry vegetation—was no match for the torrential storms that buffeted the countryside; rain meant trying to sleep in the cold and the wet as their house filled up with water.
And yet rain was crucial to their father’s livelihood. Sylvester, a rice farmer in northern Liberia, toiled daily on his 10-acre plot of land, earning less than $1,300 a year for all his hard work. His financial situation worsened when 30% of his harvest was lost—due to rodents, moisture, or any number of problems—before he could find a buyer.
Sylvester was devastated. A year’s worth of work, of waiting for the income needed to take care of his family, and suddenly a third of it had vanished. Not only was he unable to send his children to school, but Sylvester was also unable to see a clear path out of poverty.
The Power of a Global Network
Through Partners Worldwide, Sylvester became connected with a local rice processor, Selma Agriculture Development Corporation (SADC). SADC provided Sylvester with agricultural training, which increased his yield of rice by 160% in the first year alone. SADC went on to purchase Sylvester’s harvest at a fair price before cleaning, bagging, and selling the rice to an international market.
A Bright Future
Gone are the days when Sylvester felt like there was no path out; instead, he sees a bright future ahead.
Sylvester’s partnership with SADC resulted in his income rising by 150%. Today, his children attend school, returning home each day to their renovated house. The next time it storms, Sylvester’s family won’t have to worry; they can sleep comfortably beneath their new tin roof.