“We meet farmers in their fields and we get our shoes muddy.”


One Acre FundBy Ed Brayton

For most of the world’s poorest people, farming holds the key to survival for their families. But with an average of less than an acre of land, they live on a purely subsistence basis much of the time. That’s where One Acre Fund, our current Poverty and Health beneficiary, comes in, working directly with farmers in some of the poorest nations in the world to help them increase the amount of food they can grow to help prevent hunger and malnutrition.

Named one of the top 20 NGOs in the world this year by The Global Journal, One Acre Fund is not some remote nonprofit in New York City sending money to the third world. Their headquarters is in a rural area of Kenya, where co-founder Andrew Youn, a Yale graduate who created the organization in 2006, now lives. As the group likes to say, “We meet farmers in their fields and we get our shoes muddy.”

One Acre FundThey operate by giving small farmers in East Africa loans in the form of seed and fertilizer that allow them to increase their yield. They teach the farmers how to use those inputs to maximize the amount of food they produce. The result, on average, is a tripling of the amount of food produced per planted acre and a doubling of the income they can earn by selling surplus food. They also work with the farmers on how to store food effectively so they can sell their produce on the market and avoid the annual “hunger season.” Many of the people they’ve helped have joined their staff of 1,500, helping teach others in their communities how to do the same.

The cost of the loans averages about $80 per family, and 97% of them pay back the initial loan, allowing the fund to continually help new families. As of the end of 2012, One Acre Fund had helped more than 137,000 families in Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi, including almost 600,000 children. By 2014, the goal is to reach 185,000 families and nearly 750,000 children. By 2020, their aim is to help 1.4 million families.

Foundation Beyond Belief is proud to be helping One Acre Fund eradicate hunger and malnutrition in East Africa, one family at a time.