The Heart of the Bethany Land Institute. Caretakers formed at Bethany become Changemakers in Uganda.
The Caretaker program is an intensive two-year residential program where students, called Caretakers, train in farming, agro-business, and personal formation. While the three branches of BLI, Mary's Farm, Martha's Market, and Lazarus' Forest, are open to visitors, they are also the Caretaker's training arenas.
Caretakers learn by doing. With just a few hours a week in the classroom, the bulk of training happens in the field. First year’s work in Mary’s Farm, our demonstration farm, while second year’s design, create, and tend their own individual farming plots. This hands on approach leads to questions, problem solving, and discoveries that couldn’t happen in the classroom alone.
Martha’s Market is also run by Caretakers. The Market is a platform for Caretakers to learn business skills including putting the earnings from their produce towards their tuition.
What happens after the Caretakers graduate is what makes BLI’s programing transformative. As a prerequisite to joining the program, each Caretaker commits to training 4 apprentices in the next 2 years, and freely sharing their knowledge with everyone. In this way the Caretakers become an ever expanding network of thoughtful, creative farmers.