One of the main sustainable efforts of Right Steps, Inc. and Susana Homes is the on-site agriculture. This part of Southern Nigeria is perfect for producing all manner of food. The land is extremely fertile, and the plants are lush. Currently, we are growing several different types of plants and crops as well as raising pigs, poultry, and cows.
At the present time there are about 5 brood sows and one large boar who are producing numerous piglets. These then are raised up to about 120 to 160 pounds and they are either eaten at Susana Homes or sold for a good profit. The pigs help provide excellent protein and also fat for the diet of our children. Fat is a very necessary component in a diet, and other than palm oil there is very little fat in the diet in Nigeria.
We have also introduced the cultivation of chickens. The children are involved in this process by building a series of cages for the chickens and each child, from a certain age up, is given a hen. They are responsible for raising that hen, feeding, watering, and gathering the eggs. They also get to keep the income from the eggs and later, the sale of the hen when it goes to market. This has brought another level of education and responsibility to the children.
Right Steps also has another 200+ chickens that are raised for egg and meat production for the home and for sale. Each week several cases of eggs along with other products are carted off to the market in return for other products like rice, beans, etc. as well as income for Susana Homes.
There are several sources of plants which are raised at Susana Homes to not only feed the children, but to sell for income. The largest production is of palm oil. There are hundreds of palm trees on the property and each year the fruit of these trees is harvested. The fruit is pressed and the bright red oil is gathered, filtered, and sold for a good income. Some is also stored and used in cooking all year. Then the husks are given to the pigs, the seeds are sold to local plants that process the pure palm oil out of them. Then the hulls of the seed come back to Susana Homes to be burned in the cooking stoves, and the palm cakes of the seed that has no more oil in it is again fed to the pigs. As you can see, this is an extremely productive product that simply grows wild!
The second largest crop is that of Cassava. This is a root plant which is the staple source of food in southern Nigeria. It is ground and processed to make Fufu! Fufu is a thick doughy mass that is dipped in soup and eaten at almost every meal and everyone loves it! Cassava is also sold for income and trading for other goods. Other fruits and vegetables are grown on the premises: bananas, plantains, pineapples, papaya, okra, pumpkin, corn, and more! All of these are consumed by the residents of Susana Homes for nutritious and delicious food. These also provide even more income for the Home.
All of these sustainable projects together provide 27% of the overall budget for the orphanage part of Susana Homes. There is a very bright future in farming for teaching the children as well as providing for their daily nutritional needs.
Auntie Kay's Food Pantry
Chi and Dr. Kay Price (Ph.D. and Nurse Practitioner), have been friends and Christian sisters since Chi's student days in the US. Dr. Price visits Susana Homes every year to review the health and nutritional status of the children and of the many recipients from the surrounding communities. She looks over the needs of the medical clinic, and hold medical clinics in the surrounding villages and the local prison. On one of her visits, she discovered that the widows who were attending church at Susana Homes were very undernourished. She began to talk to them and discovered that they had almost no means of support since their husbands had died. She was immediately touched by this need and decided to do something about it.
Thus Auntie Kay's Food Pantry was born! The program consists of purchasing food items in bulk that are then distributed every Sunday to the widows at the church. Each widow is given a large sack of food to take home. Also during the month, the children from Susana Homes and other women from the congregation will go visit the widows to look after any needs they may have. Recently this project has grown to include other widows in the community who do not come to church at Susana Homes. It has also grown to include home health care - whereby the nurses at Susana Homes visit these elderly widows at least once a week - taking them medication, attending to their wounds, monitoring their blood pressure and basically seeing to their physical needs as the word and love of God is shared with them.
The cost of this program is around $450 per month and it provides for several widows who would be in great need without this help. This fulfills one of our main objectives to serve widows and orphans in Nigeria. To help provide food for these widows, click here to donate.