In 2018 my family and I visited the former Venverloh family farm on the border of Holland and Germany. My ancestors leased and worked that farm from the 1400s to the 1800s raising pigs. The soil was poor, but just good enough to grow corn feed. The work was hard, but my ancestors had very little money, practically no education and few other choices. And as my ancestors faithfully worked the land, the land yielded sustainable income for generations.
After that visit to the old farm, I began to reflect on how pig farming might help people struggling today in developing countries, just like it did for the Venverlohs all those years ago. The Venverloh Family Foundation worked with Compassion International to help fund their pig farming program in Rwanda. Through this program, nearly 1,000 adult caregivers in Rwanda have received training on pig husbandry, along with resources to construct pig sheds and partnerships with veterinarians and other community leaders.
Through Compassion’s work, these impoverished families have increased their earning potential with the knowledge and infrastructure in place to continue this success for generations to come. This year, participating families in Rwanda received their first supply of piglets, which will be passed on to other families in need once new piglets are born, further growing the program and giving more families the start they need to break the cycle of generational poverty and earn a consistent living.
Through Compassion’s work, it is my hope that a legacy inspired by the Venverloh family in Holland can continue to provide opportunities for those in need, setting a framework for programs like this around the world that provide the tools needed to work toward a better life.