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See the London African Gospel Choir at fundraising concert

CELEBRATION: London African Gospel Choir

FREE TICKETS are available to attend the charity Farm Africa's annual carol concert, Fables and Festivities, which will take place on Tuesday 5 December at 7pm at St Martin within Ludgate, 40 Ludgate Hill, London, EC4M 7DE.

Three choirs will be performing, including the enthralling London African Gospel Choir, and the family-orientated Pram Chorus, after which mince pies and mulled wine will be served.

The concert is free to attend, but there will be opportunities to make donations to Farm Africa on the night. Funds raised will go towards the charity’s Growing Futures appeal, which is helping young farmers in western Kenya build sustainable horticulture businesses.

Until 14 January, the UK government will match all donations from UK residents to the Growing Futures appeal, meaning donations will go twice as far.

Throughout the evening, a few of the charity’s dedicated supporters will share their stories, and Farm Africa’s Chief Executive, Nicolas Mounard will share his reflections on 2017 and his aspirations for the next 12 months.

To book a place at the concert please complete the form at www.farmafrica.org/fablesandfestivities, or contact the Farm Africa events team at events@farmafrica.org or on 020 7067 1256 by 3 December.

The funds raised will help young Kenyan farmers like Isaac and his wife Peninah, who used to scrape by working on other people’s farms. It was almost impossible for them to earn enough even to feed their family.

Peninah only had meagre supplies of kale and maize to feed their two toddlers. The children often went hungry. Struggling financially, Isaac and Peninah often found it difficult to find the money to get medical help.

Life changed after Isaac and Peninah joined a youth group where they heard about Farm Africa’s Growing Futures project. They were given high-quality seeds and training that enabled them to set up their own business growing and selling vegetables that are in high demand. Most importantly, Farm Africa helped them work with other young farmers so they can sell their crops in bulk for higher prices.

As a result, the young parents’ monthly income has tripled and they now earn enough to afford food and clothing for their children. Isaac told us: “One of the greatest things Farm Africa has taught us is about new crops and the best way to grow them. They have given us lots of training and helped us to begin our business by giving us high-quality seeds, which means we can produce better harvests. We have also learnt about farming a variety of crops at the same time to provide different sources of income.

“We have learnt about French beans, before I didn’t even know that there was something called French beans! Since Peninah and I started working with Farm Africa, we have been able to expand our farming, cultivate more land, and improve our home.

"Growing French beans means we have a steadier income, our earnings have been boosted and our resources are greater. French beans are good because they only take a few months to grow, so we can earn money quickly from selling them."

In fact, since they began growing new crops, the family's income has tripled, and their diet has vastly improved. “Now we can have different types of beans with rice, and we have meat once a week and eggs twice a week. Because we are eating well we are no longer getting sick, I cannot remember the last time one of us was sick!"

There are many more Kenyan farming families who need help. Forty-five percent of people in Kenya live below the poverty line. Farm Africa gives young farmers like Isaac and Peninah the technical know-how, tools and seeds they need to make a profit not just this harvest, but every harvest.

£24 could provide three young farmers with high-quality seeds and agricultural training.

Donations to the Growing Futures appeal from individuals based in the UK will be doubled by the Government through UK Aid Match between 14 October 2017 and 14 January 2018.

Donations can be made online at www.farmafrica.org/growingfutures

Donations to Farm Africa’s Growing Futures appeal from individuals based in the UK will be doubled by the Government through UK Aid Match between 14 October 2017 and 14 January 2018.

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