Seed Programs International

Bentol City Farmers

Bentol City Farmers

Education for farmers and their communities is a critical component for reestablishing self-sufficiency after Ebola, and the farmers of the SPI Liberia Partnership Network have made education a priority. Continuing the collaborative action plan from May's stakeholder meeting, these self-organized working groups designed and conducted trainings and skill-sharing events that are accessible by all participants of the partnership. Seven trainings were planned for June through August, and they didn't stop there.

"[D]ue to the numerous calls by these women to be trained in the uses of fertilizer and postharvest hygiene practices related to the use of fertilizer, REAP decided to hold a three-day training in the Types and Uses of fertilizer and how to clean harvested vegetables." — Venny, REAP Executive Director

Through partnerships with community-based organizations on the ground like Seed Savers Network Kenya (SSNK) and GRACE Project we have created long-term viability using an integrated approach that addresses economic, social, organizational, and environmental sustainability. These programs reflect SPI’s dedication to education, and provides communities and individuals with access to training and resources which were previously inaccessible. SPI’s program model ensures that communities continue to thrive long after SPI support ends.

Diatomite Self-Help Herbal Women’s Group

Diatomite Self-Help Herbal Women’s GroupThe Diatomite Self-Help Herbal Women’s Group consists of eight single women aged 25 to 45 in the Diatomite area who practice subsistence farming on less than one acre of land. Because they rely on farming in a drought-prone area, they struggle to grow enough food to sell at market and feed their children.

Though the group never considered entering into agribusiness, an SSNK officer introduced the idea of planting spices like coriander and pepper for market, and they have embraced it. At this time, the group has been trained, and land preparation is under way.

SOAR Academy, Nakuru

SOAR Academy, NakuruSOAR Academy educates more than 300 students in Kelelwet, Kenya, a town west of Nakuru in Great Rift Province. But education is not the only nourishment needed -- the school roster includes many orphans and other children for whom receiving a nutritious meal at school is the only way they will eat.

Working in this area has been a focus of the Waunakee, Wisconsin Rotary Club for several years, providing a well and water storage tank, latrines, school buildings, and other support. In 2015, the Waunakee Rotary applied via Rotarians Against Hunger (a project of Rotarians in W. North Carolina District 7670) to receive seeds from Seed Programs International.

Because of import issues in Kenya, we worked with our partner Seed Savers Network, Kenya to purchase vegetable seeds in Kenya: okra, swiss chard, carrot, squash, kale, coriander, and more. Daniel Wanjama with Seed Savers reports: “The seeds, coupled with technical advice from our network, have enabled the school to satisfy kitchen needs for highly nutritious school lunch, save 600 Shillings each day of school, and earn extra money for the school selling seedlings grown by the students. Local community families have also benefited by buying vegetable seedlings raised in the school.”

You Found Freddy!

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Donate today - matched giftsEbola may have faded from the news in the US, but in Liberia, its impact is everywhere. Families face food shortages and price spikes while overcoming the loss of loved ones, months of missing income, and a weakened economy and health care system. You can help today. SPI is providing vegetable seeds and support to stimulate gardening that gives much-needed nutrition and income. 

Today only, Wednesday July 15th, starting at 10:00am, donations to our Liberia crowdfunding project will be matched 140%. 

Your $25 will become $60. 

$100 becomes $240. 

$500 becomes $1200.

Please give generously so that we can access this remarkable matching offer.


Matching funds are provided by the GlobalGiving Ebola Fund of over 5,000 unique donors based in 71 countries, and grants from the likes of Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Sall Family Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and F. B. Heron Foundation. 40% match is available all day. Additional 100% match starts at 9am and continues until funds are gone.

A family, The Gambia.Over the years, Seed Programs International has provided seeds for many Peace Corps volunteers, in countries like South Africa, Bolivia, Peru, Swaziland, and others. Peace Corps staff tell us that no matter what the purpose for their service – business development, education, etc. — once they get in the field, 80% of volunteers observe nutritional needs and get engaged with some kind of food production work. This holiday season, we had a special request at SPI – to help Stephen Filipiak, a talented agriculture volunteer with the Peace Corps in The Gambia, West Africa.

Stephen, an experienced organic farmer in Hawaii, was already deeply engaged with local villagers in innovative practices — such as improving soil with carbonized rice husks and biodynamic preparations, but mostly using these efforts to grow more and better grain crops like maize, millet, and rice. He recognized a lack of fresh vegetables in local diets and contacted SPI about vegetable seeds.

Having read a trial of Okra varieties grown in the tropics, part of Stephen’s request was for a specific okra type, ‘Burmese,’ introduced and carried by Virginia-based Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE), a supporter of SPI since 2012. SESE graciously donated 10 pounds of ‘Burmese’ okra for sharing in Gambia — a blessing indeed since this is not a variety we could have accessed any other way. If you’re a gardener in the US and not familiar with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, do check them out, and thank them for supporting our work.

Beyond the donation from SESE, we are sending additional seed and need to cover the significant shipping cost to The Gambia. If you can help, please chip in with a tax-deductible donation and let’s send these seeds on their way to West Africa!

See https://alohagambia.wordpress.com/ to learn more about Stephen and see many great pictures of what is being achieved in the village where he’ll be posted for 2 years.

All seeds are non-GMO.

Please donate today to help this effort. This thermometer will be updated daily to reflect gifts received in each 24 hour period.

Note: The first funds raised will help gardeners in The Gambia as described here. However, we are also engaged with Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) in Zambia and Ecuador and steadily receive ongoing inquiries. So, funds raised above and beyond the needs of the Gambia shipment will be designated for other current and future shipments to PCVs. Thank you so much!

Donate Now

You can give online at GiveDirect, our secure donation processing partner. Please enter “Peace Corps Seeds” in the comments field to support this project. All gifts to SPI are tax-deductible.

We welcome checks mailed to: SPI, PO Box 9163, Asheville, NC 28815.

Thank you for supporting nutrition and livelihood for thousands of people worldwide. SPI seed recipients face hunger and poverty and lack access to the resources they need to lift themselves into better times. Most live on less than $2 per day.

Biodynamic Preparation 500 Stephen Filipiak Tractor in Gambia Stephen Filipiak

Hear It From Our Partners

  • GrowEastAfrica Women's Group

    Fate, GrowEastAfrica, Ethiopia

    Fate is a farmer who has forged a new livelihood from the resources and education she accessed through GrowEastAfrica, an SPI partner in Ethiopia. Building upon her training, she’s stepped into leadership with the Soyama Women's Association. She shares:

    "Just a few years ago, we were a community that was worried about what we would eat tomorrow and what the future looks like. Today, not only are we growing our own food, but we’re making plans for the future of our people and our community. We are creating markets for ourselves, we're inspiring and empowering each other, and we're saving money and contributing to our own development. Because of the support from Seed Programs International and Yohannes, we now have access to water where there was none. We’re building on what we’ve already accomplished to include neighboring villages and communities. Hope has come back to us, and we hope to grow our project so everyone — us, our communities, our villages and our country — can become fully self-reliant. We have reached this place because of the support of many people that we will never meet. It is all thanks you to you. Thank you for choosing to invest in our community and in our well-being."

Become a Global Gardener

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Mail in a donation to us and help more families grow their own food.

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Donate stocks/shares to SPI and help more families become self-sustainable.

Contact Us

Seed Programs International

PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815


Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)

Registered Charity No. 839858107RR0001
Lombardy, ON

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Seed Programs International (SPI)

Seed Programs InternationalSeed Programs International (SPI) is a non-profit, tax exempt, non-governmental humanitarian organization.

We work thorough other humanitarian organizations, church groups, service clubs and individual donors, to provide quality seed to impoverished communities in developing countries enabling them to grow some of their own food. In addition to seed, SPI provides critical seed expertise and experience operating seed based self help programs.”

SPI is operated by individuals with over 50 years seed industry experience plus over 20 years experience in vegetable research and production. We also have 15 years experience operating programs that have successfully shipped seed to over 70 countries on five continents. SPI has shipped enough seed to plant over 1,000,000 vegetable gardens, providing more than 20 kinds of vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals often missing in people’s diets.