Seed Programs International

Ixil Mayan Families in Gardening Training
Ixil Mayan Families in Gardening Training

Our partner ASO-Ixil held an initial training for vegetable gardening program participants yesterday in Chajul, Guatemala. I wanted to share with you, as supporters, some wonderful photos from that event. 

Our friend Janet who provides essential US-based support for this project explains:

"None of the women in this training for the vegetable gardens can read or write.  Manuel (Director of ASO-Ixil) has experience and training in teaching illiterate people who only speak the Ixil language."  So this training is in Ixil, with colorful powerpoint photos to teach those who do not read or write , but are very skilled at listening and interpreting visuals.

In US schools only 10% of students learn primarily through listening.  I think the board has put together a really skillful approach to training: with a combination of visuals and lessons in their own Ixil language, with follow up in their own Ixil language as they receive instruction in the gardens. As these beneficiaries have never had the opportunity to attend school, it is exciting and important for them to be attending this training in a high school classroom."

30 initial families have been selected to receive vegetable gardening support in the form of seeds, tools, fertilizers, and training. Each receives a cost subsidy of 25-75% based on their needs. 

Because much of the vegetable growing will be by women, their small children are with them in the training room. In the first photo, these children are receiving orange juice from SPI representative Carla Rosemary Rodriguez. 

Classroom - Chajul, Guatemala.

Classroom - Chajul, Guatemala.

Classroom - Chajul, Guatemala

Classroom - Chajul, Guatemala

The next generation.

The next generation.

2 Liberian Orgs. Receiving Seeds You Helped Send

2 Liberian Orgs. Receiving Seeds You Helped Send

I looked up Ebola on Google Trends today -- the 2015 graph of interest in this topic looks like a ski slope. This project, which you so generously supported, is about as un-trendy as possible. 

Yet, to us, in weekly contact with people in Liberia, Ebola still, today, couldn't be more timely. I thought this email from one of our partner organizations, Church Aid Liberia, was very well-stated. The message comes from Chairman Kortu Brown, a Reverend and also interim leader of the Liberian Council of Churches, so it starts with his usual devout greeting:

"Greetings in Jesus name! It is quite awhile now since we heard of a new Ebola case in Liberia. Much efforts have been put into fighting the virus and compelling it into submission.

But it doesn't mean its effect - and possible resurgence - has been eradicated. It is estimated that the disease killed more than 11,000 people and affected more than 28,000 persons in the three worst affected countries i.e. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. There are more than 25,000 Ebola orphans in the three countries. Recent reports suggest the possibility of "reactivated" Ebola cases. This is scary because we initially believe that once you made it through the 21-day incubation period, you were freed.

And many survivors live in trauma - and anxiety. Their physical and spiritual health are challenged. They are further challenged by the lack of basic sustenance."

group of kids Large

In September of 2015, the women’s program in Liberia hosted an agriculture and nutrition learning and recipe exchange event entitled Proper Nutrition is Powerful. This two-day event hosted 35 women and provided workshops on the Food pyramid, cooking lessons, recipe exchange and sharing sessions, and most important of all child nutrition. The program-driven group workshops focused on strengthening, and aligning traditional food and cooking methods with vegetable varieties grown with SPI seeds. By engaging a mix group of older women and young mothers the event offered opportunities for knowledge exchange, sharing of cooking styles, and learning how to select and cook ingredients that will improve nutritional intake.

SPI Liberia partner reported that the women in attendance all mothers, who all understood and agreed that children who are well nourished, are more likely to be healthy, productive and able to learn. As we all know, malnutrition is devastating. It blunts intellect, saps productivity, and perpetuates poverty for any family and society it touches. On a recent Skype call with SPI staff Ms. Miatta Sirleaf, lead trainer for the women’s program said “This year awareness of nutrition issues, particularly stunting in children, has increased, because of advocacy and access to resources made available through SPI’s support.”

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, Liberia women’s program is expanding their reach and teaching some very essential and important skills so women can go beyond surviving to thriving.

Thank you!

Receiving Seeds

Receiving Seeds

"I am a mother of 6 living children, I gave birth to 8 children. The oldest child is 25 and I lost him to Ebola and I lost my 5th born to malnutrition when she was just a little over the age of 1 year. I lost my first husband in the civil war and later remarried my current husband who was a widow with 4 of his own children. My current husband is physically disabled also as a result of the civil war. Together we are raising 10 children.

I am a farmer, and I am the main bread winner for the family. I have received vegetable seeds for my small farm from the church program for women. The seeds have fed and clothed my family, I am forever grateful for the help.

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.