Building a Sustainable Farm

Building a Sustainable Farm for St. Camillus Centre  

To address the challenge of providing enough nutritious food for the children and reduce dependency on private donations, the Centre embarked on a new venture to expand their commercial farming to increase revenues. Many of the Centre’s orphaned or abandoned children arrive underweight and malnourished.


In 2015, The Centre launched an irrigation irrigation project to transition from reliance on rain. At the same time the more cost effective and sustainable methodology Conservation Agriculture was introduced.  The project, conducted in phases between 2015-2016,  was funded by international grants and private donations.

Phase 1 A grant from the Peace Corps provided funds to:

  • Install spray irrigation on 3,200 square meters
  • Pay for seedlings for the fist crops of cabbage
  • Purchase farm tools
  • Pay 3-months of farm wages

Phase 2 A grant from Slow Food – Italy, Water Charity, and private donations provided funds to:

  • Install spray irrigation on additional 1,000 square meters
  • Pay for seeds and seedlings for a second crop of vegetables on  multiple plots
  • Pay wages to the farm laborers

Phase 3 A second grant from the Peace Corps provided funds to:

  • Drill a new well to ensure adequate supply water for the orphanage, all the farm acreage, and the poultry layers
  • Complete the irrigation of all commercial and orphanage vegetable plots
  • Install a 6×12 meter greenhouse to ensure vegetables can be grown during the harsh winter months

Installing irrigation

First cabbage crop

First crop in the greenhouse

The new borehole is 60 meters deep

The sign points the way to the St. Camillus Farm

Learn more about the St. Camillus Centre, now an orphanage and foster care program for a few of the more than 220,000 orphans in Lesotho. It was established by Sister Juliana Manele and Bishop Khoarai in 2002 to help those suffering from AIDS/HIV in their AIDS ravaged country.