I took these pictures on a recent trip to South Africa on an assignment for a Swiss NGO, fastenopfer.ch. They support the work of the "Rural Women's Assembly", which is active in South Africa and all over Southern Africa. The aim of the "Rural Women's Assembly" is to help rural women fight against unjust laws and to give them the training and tools to build small farms.
The women work with organic methods to feed their families healthy produce and use agroecology to grow sustainably on land that's very tricky to grow something on. Also, climate change adds a new difficulty to the already very challenging life of rural population trying to feed themselves. The farmers save and exchange traditional seeds from their harvest with their neighbours and farmers from neighbouring countries to produce natural and resilient crops.
I was very inspired by the families I got to visit in the Eastern Cape province, and I hope that the pictures will do them justice.
South Africa has come a long way, but inequalities and massive unemployment make organisations like the Rural Women's Assembly essential in helping build a better country.
To learn more about the Rural Women's Assembly or fastenopfer, check out their websites.
A story about my trip to South Africa has been published on "Creatives for Conservation" as "Seeds of Hope: Rural Women's Assembly".
Another story about the Rural Women's Assembly and the importance of seed independance has been published in the "Human Affairs" magazine as "The Rural Women's Association - Seed independence for South African farmers".