As an alternative to the urban business scheme, Street Child offers individuals the chance to receive grants of seed, which can be farmed and the surplus sold. We also offer villages the chance to participate in a seed lending scheme, whereby communities farm seed as a collective, and the income generated subsidizes the local school.
Seeds for farmers
In rural communities, families supporting street children often opt to receive agricultural support instead of a grant for creating a small business. These families receive bags of seed in the spring - they can choose between groundnut or rice - and harvest in the fall, with a return on investment of up to 300%. With enough harvest to both feed the family and sell the surplus for profit, these families are able to send their children to school with full bellies, and put money aside for their future.
Income generation for rural schools
We ‘lend’ bags of rice or seeds to a community, which then farms the crops together, as a collective. Typically, for every one bag of seeds sowed, three to four bags are harvested. Of this yield, the community returns 1.5 bags to Street Child.
We use one bag of seed to replace the bag initially lent, to ensure that we can offer the same opportunity to another community. We then sell the remaining half a bag, and give the funds to the community's local school. This highly effective scheme funds school building maintenance and reasonable salaries for teachers, and provides for books and other learning materials - and is a sustainable enterprise for Street Child, meaning that every dollar donated goes further, and makes a bigger difference to more people.