A new photographic exhibition by Northern Ireland charity Self Help Africa, depicting women on the front line of climate change, has opened in Parliament Building Stormont. The exhibition is hanging in the Long Gallery before embarking on a province-wide tour.
As the producers of much of the food grown on small farms, Africa’s women farmers are locked in a struggle to provide for their families in the face of drier, hotter and more unpredictable weather conditions, with temperatures sometimes reaching 48°. They are resourceful and are employing methods to allow them to mitigate the effects of global heating and although they are the people hit hardest, despite being least responsible for this crisis – women farmers are evolving, adapting and changing the way that they farm – and ensuring that there is a future for food production in Africa.
Denny Elliott, Head of NI for Self Help Africa, said: “This exhibition brings home the deepening crisis of climate change and shows how African women are coping with the changing climate in their lives. Self Help Africa is working with local communities to make small daily changes that have real impact. We are bringing this photographic exhibition to venues across Northern Ireland to raise awareness of the support we are providing across sub-Saharan Africa, to enable farmers to grow more and earn more from their small farms with the generosity of the people of Northern Ireland.
“We have farmers who have started womens’ groups in their local communities to empower other women to create small plots of green in the dusty ground, developing a vegetable garden for feeding their families and where women are trained in best practice of banana production. They also learn the benefits of working with fuel-efficient mud stoves to assist with tree planting as trees are disappearing from the land.
“And here in Northern Ireland, Self Help Africa is about to launch a campaign to ‘Plant the Planet’ where we will plant 100,000 native trees in Ireland and 1,000,000 new trees in Africa this year.”
If you would like to find out more information about Self Help Africa, about volunteering in your local area or in your local Self Help Africa shop and if you would like to donate, please visit www.selfhelpafrica.org.