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Seed Programs International

Students Learning with Rotary Club of Manila 101

For the last seven years, the West North Carolina Rotary Clubs of District 7670 and Seed Programs International have provided thousands of seed packets through the Rotarian Against Hunger (RAH) seed grant. The RAH seed grant provides fellow Rotarians worldwide with access to vegetable seeds for nutrition, education, and income development projects. As part of their programs, Rotarians often establish strong working relationships with nonprofits, community groups, and local governmental groups as a way to ensure sufficient support and engage all sectors of the community.

In 2018, enough seed was distributed through Rotarians Against Hunger to grow almost 1000 gardens in Ghana, Honduras, India, Guatemala, and South Africa. These projects included:

  • In India, the Rotary of Bangalore mobilized to establish gardens for families displaced by monsoon flooding in Kerala region;
  • In Honduras, new crops were planted to expand the community’s traditional diet of beans and corn, countering malnutrition;
  • In Guatemala, Rotary teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to alleviate malnutrition and poverty by establishing gardens and offering skills training and nutritional education.

We closed the 2019 RAH seed grant application period on September 30, and we’ll announce the selected projects in November. We plan on accepting project applications for seed grants again next September. Be sure to check back here and subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss these opportunities!

In the meantime, read about a prior seed grant our selected project with Rotary Club of Manila 101 in the Philippines.

Gardens Support Whole Health

If you’re familiar with our programs, you might know that many of our partner communities are located in outlying or isolated regions. The Rotary Club of Manila 101 in the Philippines is different. Working with schools throughout the Philippines, this Rotary focuses on gardens that can thrive in an urban environment.

“Urban Edible Gardening at the FMGES hopes to have pupils, as well as their parents and the community realize and be inspired with the benefits, feasibility, and potential of growing food for one’s own table.” — Urban Edible Gardening purpose statement

Their Agripreneruship and Environment flagship program, Urban Edible Gardening, introduces students to urban gardening concepts. This isn’t only a technical introduction — students are encouraged to explore their connection with the land and gain an understanding of how gardens and gardening can promote personal wellness. Learning about the connection between the land, where food comes from, and wellness is important in an urban setting where this connection may not be obvious.

Urban Edible Gardening engages the entire family in holistic wellness. At the Fernando Ma. Guerrero Elementary School, the program starts with a training of the trainers. Rotary Club of Manila 101 partners with a local expert to offer a session on “Healthy Soils, Healthy Crops, Healthy Lives.” The children’s parents then prepare the garden plot, while children are led through mindfulness exercises connected to planting the seeds. One such exercise, led by Past President Majella, aims to “create joy, peacefulness, and happiness within.”

The school’s children then sow their seeds: lettuce, mustard, okra, eggplant, and marigold that will provide some of the school’s supply of organic vegetables. Training continues throughout the season, including sessions about the use of fertilizer, growing seeds into healthy seedlings, and general nutrition and wellness. For instance, students were treated to a “Health is Weatlh” talk by the Rotary President that includes a section about dance as exercise. How fun!

“Thanks to Seed Programs International for making this possible for our nation through their seed donation grant program!” — Rotary Club of Manila 101

It’s worth noting that a program like this requires a tremendous amount of collaboration. A lot of resources are needed to succeed at this scale, and Rotary Club of Manila 101 is doing a fantastic job of enrolling the next generation of healthy farmers. Through your support, and the support of other programs like Rotarians Against Hunger, these students are gaining access to the resources they need for future livelihoods and wellness.

From us, Rotary Club of Manila 101, and a generation of students — thank you!

The Community and Family Gardens project aims to combat malnutrition in rural communities of extreme poverty through improved gardening techniques, diversified vegetable varieties, and increased knowledge on nutritional practices. The project supports families by diversifying the types of foods they consume through the practice of growing vegetables for home consumption.

 

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Contact Us

Seed Programs International

PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815
828-707-1640

 

Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)

Registered Charity No. 839858107RR0001
Lombardy, ON
613-406-6100

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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.