General Manager of Operations - Togo
Koku Prosper Nyanu
Overfarming depletes nutrients in the soil.
"We, the undersigned, endorse the Earth Charter. We embrace the spirit and aims of the document. We pledge to join the global partnership for a just, sustainable, and peaceful world and to work for the realization of the values and principles of the Earth Charter."
-Rita & Jeff Rayman
General Managers of Operations - Uganda
Esther Atoo &
Lopen Namgay Tenzin
General Manager of Operations - N. Kivu, D.R.C.
The currency is animals, the loan is interest free, and a pay-forward component ensures continuity & expansion.
a sustainable, scalable, community building, income generating, peace building, conservation initiative...really!
How are we mixed up in all this Shit?
The Shit Starts Here (TSSH) is an agricultural micro-finance initiative, co-founded by Rita & Jeff Rayman and Paul Ruganintwali.
Farming cooperatives use composted animal manure to increase crop yields, encouraging income generation and entrepreneurship, fostering independence and dignity.
Animal reproduction be comes an income source or a savings account.
Our hope is to facilitate a lasting change, in a way that we are almost invisible in the process, other than having seeded that change.
Focusing on women, we concentrate on cooperatives bordering national parks, because a stable community does not poach the animals and trees within.
Our presence in conflict-ridden areas supports farming as a successful alternative to picking up weapons and an opportunity to lay down weapons, and our presence in post-conflict areas helps communities re-build.
No admin costs and no overhead. Just a middled aged couple and 6 small teams of amazing volunteers. So 100% of every donation goes directly to sourcing animals. We are continually heartened by simple stories of real, sustainable change through hard work, determination, and so much joy. Stories of new found domestic peace and partnership, and the pride of being able to “lift as you rise” when one cooperative provides animals to another, paying forward. And we marvel at how even the smallest change can create long-term thinking. Unlock human potential. Entrepreneurship. Community development. Dreaming.
Manure changes peoples lives.
45,000+ lives in just 5 years.
Pitching This Shit...
The Sh*t Starts Here is not charity but rather, an opportunity...a hand up, not a hand out, that fosters independence and dignity. We provide sheep and goats to co-operatives of subsistence farmers in order to compost the manure into organic fertilizer, which in turn increases crop yields. In addition, as the animals reproduce, excess can be sold for income and life advancement such as health care, educational needs, home improvement and entrepreneurial initiatives. A stable community helps to guarantee the protection and conservation of nearby parks and forests and the wildlife, including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and other endangered primates, that live in them. If there is enough food on the table and money to buy cooking fuel, there is no need to go poaching. And potential exists for other income-generating entrepreneurial activities. Working with established cooperatives, we provide each farmer with a female sheep or goat as well as males for studding. And a pay-forward component ensures our obsolescence in any one area, allowing us to continually expand.
Working with the input of the cooperatives and sensitive to local conditions, we've developed a system that works.
As we gave the initial farmers the benefit of opportunity, so they turn around and give that same opportunity to other members of their community, in other cooperatives, lifting as they rise. The cycle perpetuates itself as we continue to provide new sheep and goats to new cooperatives in addition to those being passed on by previous cooperatives.
We work with established co-operatives, focusing on women whenever possible, encouraging independence and the dignity that comes with it.
We also concentrate, but are not exclusive to, cooperatives bordering national parks, because a stable community does not poach the animals and trees within.
Our presence in conflict areas supports farming as a successful alternative to picking up weapons.
And our presence in post-conflict areas helps communities re-build their lives.
We now have over 8000 animals in the project, with more being born regularly and more to be purchased in the coming weeks. There have been improved crop yields (in many cases up to 300% increases reported) and additional access to funds (by selling their animals) to pay for school fees, health concerns, home improvements and entrepreneurial initiatives that generate even further income.
Statistical details available upon request.
Better healthcare, access to education and home improvements, and micro-businesses opportunities, all generated by the community, not charitable handouts.
And access to organic fertilizer means safety from the adverse health effects of chemical fertilizers.
Ours is a love story that's full of sh*t- a simple, transparent, scalable, sustainable, community-building, income-generating, peace-building, conservation initiative...really!
Co -Founder & Gen'l Manager Operations - Rwanda
General Manager of Operations - S. Kivu, D.R.C.
What's all this about Shit?
Who's Involved With This Sh*t?
The Shit Starts Here - A Guardian Project Initiative currently works, and continues to expand, in Rwanda, Northern Uganda,
Eastern D.R. Congo and Togo
Manure from sheep and goats, when composted into free, organicfertilizer and applied to the soil, increases crop yields.
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