October 26, 2016
Family while studying at ASYV: Sir Ronaldo Ross
My name is Ndatimana Pierre Jimmy and my ASYV family is called Sir Ronaldo Ross. I was born the 28th of March in 1994. I am from Ruhango District in the Southern Province of Rwanda.
My proudest achievements at ASYV were becoming a responsible person with core values and becoming a guitar player. Before coming to ASYV, my plan for the future was to be a driver and to take care of my family as I am the one in charge. Now, with what ASYV has taught me, I have more options.
Read about Jimmy’s work on ASYV’s farm...
The goals of ASYV's farm are to provide food for the Village (over 35% of our food comes from the farm), offer students hands-on educational opportunities in modern agricultural methodology, and to support the Village financially through harvest sales. A variety of crops are produced, including: Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplant, squash, green beans, tomatoes, pineapple, watermelon, beans, peanuts, bananas, avocados, coffee, plantains, cabbage, and mangoes. Furthermore, the Village has 21 Friesian cows that produce over 75 liters of milk a day for the students’ breakfast porridge. Every Saturday morning, our students work on the farm in order to gain valuable experience. Over 80% of Rwanda's population depends on subsistence agriculture, and our kids will be able to help introduce contemporary farming techniques after they graduate.
Recently, we caught up with Jimmy Ndatimana, our Farm Intern to find out more about his journey in the Village:
"I come from the Ruhango district in the southern province of Rwanda. Before arriving at the ASYV, I lived with my two brothers. Initially, my eldest brother acted as head of my household but I was required to take over that responsibility after he was poisoned and consequently suffered mental health issues. It was my duty to look after both him and my younger brother, Louis.
In order to provide for my family, I began using the small amount of land we had to cultivate crops that I would later sell at our local market. I’d grow rice, beans, cassava and Irish potatoes. Sometimes, I would also purchase small livestock such as chickens and then sell them on for a small profit. I'd also use some of the produce to feed the family.
I arrived at the Village in 2012, joining the Ingenzi grade which recently graduated. I noticed that there were plenty of opportunities here to learn new skills in farming through the environment club and agriculture professional skills program. It was through these programs that I gained expertise on how to successfully cultivate a plot of land. During my time in the Village, I initiated a number of projects which included growing crops that had never before been cultivated on the land here.
Soon, I became elected the class representative of the agriculture professional skills program and was selected as an advisor to kids in the environment club.
After graduating, I was appointed as the Farm Intern with the responsibility of overseeing all workers that tend to the crops and livestock within ASYV’s premises. I’m also developing new projects including the cultivation of passion fruit. Furthermore, I am in charge of organizing all farm activities which take place every Saturday morning.
When my internship here has finished, I plan to study agriculture at university in order to enhance my knowledge and experience. Eventually, I’d like to manage my own farm and sell my produce to larger consumers. For now, I am using all of the skills I learned at ASYV to make the most of what I currently have - growing banana trees, rice, and maize on my small farm back home."