Seed Programs International

Jaha speaking with a gathering of women.

Jaha speaking with a gathering of women.

Hi folks,

We recently heard from Safe Hands for Girls, our partner working in The Gambia. Safe Hands for Girls accomplishes important work in The Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Atlanta USA, fighting female genital mutilation / cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage. Founded in 2013 by Jaha Dukureh, a Gambian woman, Safe Hands for Girls advocates for women and girls through a combination of education, community discussion, and local and national legislative advocacy.

Jaha and Safe Hands for Girls often visit communities with a high percentage of women and girls affected by FGM/C to hold community discussions that include everyone affected by FGM/C: girls and women who have been cut, women who cut, village leaders, and community clerics. Jaha and Safe Hands for Girls are effective precisely because they foster these relationships. Changing cultural traditions is difficult, and they are slowly facilitating healthy change through their work.

Because the short- and long-term effects of FGM/C are severe — shock, hemorrhaging, infection, and anemia are a few of the effects — nutrition is a critical for both girls recovering from recently being cut and women whose immune systems have been compromised from being cut. SPI partnered with Safe Hands for Girls in 2018 as a way to complement the work they were already doing by establishing community vegetable gardens for women. Not only do gardens provide important nutrition, but they can provide a livelihood alternative for cutters who depend on income from the practice. Economic freedom also helps women throughout the community claim more power over their own lives.

Safe Hands for Girls writes:

“It is with extreme gratitude that [these communities] acknowledge and thank you for your services and support to the women groups. The Seed Programs Initiative partnership with safe Hands For Girls has supported and empowered women by giving them financial independence.

After handing over of the donated seeds, Safe Hands for Girls CEO (Jaha Dukureh) through the organisation funded the digging of 6 wells/ boreholes for easier access to water. This request was made by the women during a follow up visit by the team after the seed donation, the women cited the need for water and how it has affected the garden, the garden is about 275m by 175m square approximately. 


Thank you again for your service, your thoughtfulness means so much to our organisation and the women we serve. We care deeply about the communities we serve and we appreciate your commitment to helping us serve to an even greater capacity.

I have attached some photos of the garden and the amazing women who work on them.”

Safe Hands for Girls is changing lives and traditions, and safeguarding the lives of generations of women to come. You can see the garden and the amazing women who work on them attached to this report. Your gift supports gardens like this and our work with partners like Safe Hands for Girls.

From us, and from Safe Hands for Girls, thank you.

— The SPI Team

A garden started with Safe Hands for Girls.

A garden started with Safe Hands for Girls.

The well referenced in our recent letter fro SHFG.

The well referenced in our recent letter fro SHFG.

Onions from the garden.

Onions from the garden.


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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.