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Planting Seeds

What little boy doesn’t grow up with dreams and aspirations to become an astronaut, a doctor or a rock star?

It was no different for Eric.

Eric, a fine outstanding and charismatic young man visited Imbabazi with his fellow classmates. An entire grade learning and studying the Agriculture industry, hoping to nurture and develop their dreams to one day make a living in the agronomist’s world.

Since a boy, Eric dreamed of one day becoming an astronaut. He went to school.  He studied hard. Everything was in order…until one day, his eyes were opened and his dreams rocked when, at fourteen years old, he saw the impact of what a farm can do for people in Rwanda.

The seed was planted and he’s been growing it ever since.

Eric’s personality was not only captivating, but the intensity to soak up everything our farm manager, Damascene, was saying really drew him apart from the other students. When asked who would like to share a little more about their interests in agriculture, it was Eric who jumped at the opportunity.

Eric’s goal after school is to own his own farm, raising pigs to produce fertilizer and to market for income. He’s drawn to the land, but what was so interesting about Eric is that he sincerely knew, and deeply believed, that being a farmer has a legacy of its own. He wanted to further his education so he could keep the agriculture industry thriving, using the land and crops to prevent pollution, but also to provide medicines that would help people survive.

This 21-year old student, rich in personality and character, has inspirations are driven from the photography of the land, reading books, American music, and conversations with people. When asked about his favorite part about this industry, with a big grin, he jumped at the chance to say, ‘manufacturing lotions that plants produce. And beans. And potatoes, of course’.

Meet SemahaneOne of our veteran gardeners at Imbabazi, Semahane has worked on the plantation since 1972 when Roz gave him a job. What he calls – an opportunity.  Because of her, he said, he was able to provide so much for his family and his love for the flowers has only grown over the years.

At 62 years old, Semahane comes to work on the farm everyday because he’s simply captivated by the flowers.  Loyal to the agapanthus, he said that’s because they’ve been here for him since the beginning, that it’s his responsibility to nurture them until he no longer can.

Semahane watched the students with a bright light in his eye.  It was at the same age he developed his passion for flowers and when asked what advice he could give the future agronomists, he said, ‘my life, it’s like a flower. They’ve been with me since the beginning, loyal and true. And I don’t want to see the flowers stop growing when I go, so it’s important someone continues with the legacy’.

Semahane, we hope so, too.

 

 

There are many different opportunities to support Semahane and the other gardeners of Imbabazi.  Floral bouquets are made and delivered each week to different residents and businesses throughout Rwanda, and these purchases continue to provide sustainable income for our gardeners.  If you’d like to be involved, we can help arrange a bouquet order.  Just email imbabazi@imbabazi.org for more information.  Or, you can simply make a donation in honor of the Imbabazi’s Flower industry HERE

http://imbabazi.org/take-action/donations/



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