Paul Jeffrey

Land and life, renewed

“Our land is our life,” said Motí, a Palestinian farmer, “But nobody seems to even know we exist. Until you came.”

Man and woman talking in a field

Though now rich and green, not long ago the fields of his property lay in ruin. Motí’s farm was destroyed during a period of civil unrest. “They announced a peace truce and we went to the field to get tomatoes to eat, but found nothing. My efforts were all in vain,” Motí remembered, recalling his return to the farm after the conflict. “I have been working this land since I was eight,” he said. “It hurt me to see it so ruined, as if I have betrayed it.” 

Resources meet resolve

To help the land recover and cultivate crops again, Motí needed fertilizers, irrigation networks and seed. 

With support from the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Improvement and Development for Communities Center (IDCO) was able to provide help to struggling farmers like Motí through a project that allowed more than 80 working farmers to revive their land. Recipient farmers were provided vegetable seedlings and training on environmentally sound agriculture and water-saving techniques. 

Using replaced or repaired water lines, Motí can now cultivate more crops on more space. New irrigation networks allow water to travel farther with less waste and vegetable seedlings have boosted the farm’s productivity. Motí now feels secure that his children will not starve. The family is doing well enough now that one of Motí’s children has returned to school. 

When Motí looks out on his now-thriving fields, you can see that his connection to the land —and his life — has been renewed. “Now it is alive,” he said. “And so am I.” 

Gifts of seeds and agricultural tools and training from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog help restore livelihoods — and lives — in rural areas devastated by conflict and natural disasters. 

Photo by Improvement and Development for Communities Center (IDCO)