Shagra, a small village located just north of El Fasher, North Darfur, is known for its high quality agricultural products, rich soil, and underground water reservoir. Despite this abundance, many women in this part of Darfur have experienced increased economic and social burdens as a result of the ongoing instability in the country. Nadia Ibrahim, a 38-year old mother of two, has felt the struggles of the consistent conflict firsthand.
Thinking creatively about ways to address some of these challenges and improve life in this region of Sudan, the Toward Enduring Peace in Sudan (TEPS) program created the Shagra Women’s Peace Farm. Implemented by DT Global with generous support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the project provided a solar system, water tank and seedlings, and trained 200 women on project management skills, successful agricultural techniques, democracy, and civic engagement. Nadia, one of these women, has gone on to become Chairwoman of the farm – a position that allowed her to increase her household income, participate in a peace building social dialogue, and gave her the opportunity to work towards a brighter future for her family.
The Shagra Peace Farm has allowed Nadia and over 500 other community members to improve their nutrition and income through the cultivation of cucumbers, tomatoes, sesame, and okra. The produce that doesn’t feed local families is sold at the local Shagra market, increasing income for local women. In addition to securing economic stability and increased resilience, the women in the Peace Farm community have been able to reduce tensions between themselves through increased dialogue on social cohesion and peace building.
“The support that we received from USAID will allow for more women to join the farm in the future and reap the benefits as well. We will also be able to share our knowledge with each other,” Nadia tells us. Being a leader comes naturally to Nadia; she has moved up the ranks to become the lead representative for the Shagra Women’s Development Council where she is fighting for the need for better natural resource management in Darfur. Already Nadia’s leadership and activism, in collaboration with local partners, has led to the establishment of a new public forest. When women are given a voice and a chance to dream and work hard, the possibilities are endless.
On International Women’s Day and every day, DT Global celebrates the innovation, leadership, and impact of women and women-owned businesses around the world.