Kusay was 13 years old when he moved back to his family’s farm in Syria, two years ago. When he, his mom Fatima, and two half-siblings returned to their village after being displaced, Kusay was the head of the household. At 13.
Kusay and Fatima tried to get the land back into production, but they only managed to plant a dozen square feet. The land was dry and as hard as cement after a few years of drought, then war-time neglect. The farm needed a big dose of love, and quite frankly, their family did too.
Kusay is 15 now. You stepped into Kusay’s life, provided he and his mom the use of a tractor, seeds, and the tools they needed to grow again. You changed Kusay’s life with farm supplies.
Here are three ways you can bring change (and end war) in Syria by supporting agriculture.
1. Young men need a way to support their families.
The plain truth is that for hundreds of thousands of families, husbands and fathers are dead or have been disappeared. It’s often up to teenage sons, mere children at the start of the war in Syria, to support the family now.
These young men can’t wait for others to return to their home villages, restart businesses, and hopefully create jobs for someone like Kusay. They need work–and income–now.
And many young men, including Kusay, had to leave school because of war. They lost the chance at an education. Farming is a dignified way to make a living, that can be carried on for the rest of their lives.
2. They can’t do it alone.
Kusay and Fatima—they’re strong. They aren’t afraid of long hours and hard work. But they’re not superheroes. The kind of community that comes with a tractor shared by neighboring farms, and seeds and tools provided by you, give this family what they need to rebuild, replant, and one day soon, to thrive.
3. Productive farms can end war. Yes, really.
Productive farms feed families. Not just the farmer’s family, but that of their neighbors too. Food grown locally ensures that when borders or main roads are closed because of violence, and when checkpoints turn back delivery trucks from other cities because they use food (and the lack of food) as a weapon of control, families don’t need to worry about their food supply, and are less likely to be targets for extremist groups who provide food in exchange for loyalty.
Positive activity–rebuilding healthy fields and irrigation channels–leads to hope for the future. With every furrow plowed and seed planted, young men burdened with responsibility can know that they’re already investing in their future.
The beans and lentils growing in Kusay and Fatima’s farm are in full production now. They spend their days walking the perimeter of their crops, tending to them, chasing away animals that might spoil their harvest.
Fatima and Kusay dream of having a successful farming business because that’s what they know how to do, and it is their heritage—which they want to preserve.
Other young men like Kusay, carrying heavy responsibilities and little opportunity, are ready and willing to start growing a new life for their families, if someone like you will partner with them. With a few clicks, you can give that opportunity today.