Local minister learns about global hunger while in Nepal

April 3, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Rev. Janet Jones, minister of High Country United Church in Camilla, was in Nepal recently with Canadian Foodgrains, learning about the country’s hunger and development issues.

Ms. Jones was part of the International Food Security Learning Tour for Educators, organized by Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 church and church agencies working together to end global hunger. Since 1983, the organization has provided over $600 million of food assistance to people in need.

After applying, she was with a group of 12 others who spent two weeks in the country from January 27 to February 10, where they visited projects supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank and others funded by Global Affairs Canada. They saw how changes, such as farming techniques, health and nutrition, and child wellness, have impacted the people.

“The group’s interaction with the Nepalese farmers was a vital part of the trip,” says Roberta Gramlich, youth engagement coordinator at the Foodgrains Bank. “There were some very rich discussions that happened between the Canadians and the Nepalese community members.”

In an interview with the Citizen, Ms. Jones described the overall experience as surreal. “We weren’t doing anything, we were just experiencing, and that was incredible.”

She said she really enjoyed learning about the perseverance and strength of the people. “Even how resistant they were to change, they enveloped it. They just took it on and said ‘well let’s see what happens.’”

She talked about how some of the challenges she noticed the people struggle with on a daily basis are access, getting from one town to another for emergency reasons or supplies, and how the vehicles used are in poor quality, and the roads are unsafe at times.

“We have so much here, we are really gifted, and to be able to know that, we can help another community.”

Ms. Jones said she’s become very interested in farming, after seeing the Nepalese people farm for, and rely on themselves for food. The most important thing she took away from the trip was how Canada as a country relies on food being imported, and how we can have any type of food anytime throughout the year. “Our farmers are so under-appreciated.”   

Ms. Jones encourages everyone to understand what the Canadian budget means for the world, and how it impacts everyone. “Really look at it with critical eyes and an open heart, because I think we’re spending money in areas just to keep ourselves busy, and not to do meaningful work.”

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