Go to the GoFundMe campaign:
Somali Bantu Liberation Farms Project Updated Appeal
Suban Waledi, originally from Somalia, came to the United States 14 years ago from a Kenyan refugee camp. Like many others who were forced to leave as a refugee, Suban is a farmer, and she wants to keep on farming, growing food for her family and she wants to make a living by selling her food to the people of Maine.
Many Somali Bantu refugees, like Suban, moved to the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine area in the early 2000’s. As New Mainers, they were welcomed by many, but some were not so friendly, asking Somalis to move somewhere else or limit their arrivals to the community. A few experienced traumatic racist and Islamophobic incidents perpetrated against them.
We started the Somali Bantu Community Association (SBCA) in 2005 to support new Somali Bantu immigrants and to help them adjust to their new community while maintaining cultural identity. We also wanted to help them maintain their love for farming by providing land and equipment to develop food and economic resources for New Mainers.
To achieve that goal, SBCA started Liberation Farms. Our description: “Liberation Farms is food justice in action. It is a demonstration of the success that is possible when marginalized communities have the opportunity to organize and lead themselves. It provides new American families struggling with food insecurity with the tools and resources to grow healthy, culturally-appropriate foods for themselves and their community.”Liberation Farms would like to create more income producing opportunities where the farmers can sell produce to local farmers markets, wholesale accounts, and in the community.
We have two pieces of land in the Lewiston-Auburn area for vegetables and we tentatively have a third parcel for goat pasture and grazing. However, we do not yet have enough equipment to farm it all. Because we have many people who are interested in the program, wewant to expand our agricultural programs to grow more vegetables and to graze and slaughter goats, a traditional source of meat for Somalis.
Can you support the Somali Bantu Community Association expansion of our Liberation Farms project by helping to fund our new goat pasture?
SBCA has a Kubota L4330 tractor it can use for its farmland, but it requires three attachments—bush hog, disk harrow, and rototiller—to prepare and cultivate the soil to be able to plant crops and pasture this spring. We also need fencing and other infrastructure improvements for the goats.
Here are the costs of the attachments and fencing/infrastructure improvements. We hope to raise this money by March 15, 2019, so we will be able to start the goat project in the spring of 2019:
Bush hog: $2,350
Disk Harrow: 3,300
Fencing, etc.: 2,100
By donating to this appeal, you can begin or continue the process of giving in solidarity with people of color as a way to challenge and undo racism, made worse by recent attacks on immigrants/refugees, while supporting economic development for the Somali Bantu community in Maine.
For more information about SBCA and its Liberation Farms project, contact: Muhidin Libah, Somali Bantu Community Association, 145 Pierce St. #101, Lewiston, ME 04240 (for donations by check), (207) 784-5556, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.somalibantumaine.org (to donate via PayPal). Or, donate using the GoFundMe “donate now”button. Thank you for your support.