Updates

Seed Programs International

MATTER 1SPI partner MATTER believes that everyone should have access to a full and healthy life, and gardens are a part of their plan. We’ve been impressed with their partnership work in Senegal, and they recently shared about their partnership work in Zimbabwe.

In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, MATTER is working to ensure that the local community has access to quality healthcare, including nutrition. In addition to the equipment and supplies they’ve brought to the area, they are supporting a maternity hospital garden in a community with poor soil quality and little access to good seed. Good nutrition is especially important for new mothers, who are restoring their bodies after childbirth.

"It is very difficult to get good seeds in our area. Having dependable seeds allows for increased harvests and greater impact." — Silent Kasake, Victoria Falls Hospital Garden Manager

Because good seed is not available locally, MATTER is deploying SPI seeds to grow nutritious vegetables in a maternity hospital garden that supplies meals to new mothers. So far, the garden has supplied almost 2,000 meals over five months!

MATTER 2 worm pitIn addition to addressing seed quality, MATTER has worked to ensure that other barriers, like poor soil quality, won’t stop farmers from a bountiful harvest. Chris Newhouse, MATTER’s Agricultural Program Director, shares:

“At the Victoria Falls hospital garden, the soil is poor, so we’ve developed a system utilizing worm pits and food waste to create soil for the beds. About one-third of the garden is devoted to the worm farm, which provides a rich soil for seed starting and growing in an area where fertilizers are hard to come by.”

Speaking to the importance of our partnership, Chris laid out MATTER’s goal for the coming years.

MATTER 3“SPI’s work is a fantastic addition to our projects. Our partners frequently tell us that getting quality seeds is difficult if not impossible. Providing dependable garden seeds really helps make these projects successful. In the future I’ll be looking for ways to get more seeds to our partners in the developing world. MATTER is aiming to install 30 more nutritional gardens next to maternity hospitals in Zimbabwe over the next 3 years—our partnership with SPI will be an essential element of this project.”

We’re grateful to Chris, MATTER, and the farmers who are providing important nutrition to these new mothers in Zimbabwe. We’re always looking for feedback about our partnerships and want to learn more about our partner’s goals because we want to support your success! Thank you!

— The SPI Team

P.S. If you have a story to share about your SPI partner, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

finished seeds

This June, Seed Programs International hosted a seed packing event with the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation (MDRT) in Miami Beach, FL. This fun, hands-on activity was a great way for their attendees to strengthen ties within their own network while promoting a positive impact and helping fight world hunger. We’re excited to host a second seed packing event with MDRT next week, September 3, during their global conference in Sydney, Australia.

“It was inspiring to see one hundred of our members volunteer together to pack 20,000 seeds, knowing that so many lives would be changed. A big thank you to SPI for all the work they do to help feed and empower individuals and families from all over the world.” - Ted Rusinoff, MDRT Foundation President

At Seed Programs International, we want to extend this opportunity to other nonprofit organizations as a way to supply seed to their programs and engage their donors in an inspiring, hands-on activity. Donors can sponsor your event to help cover the associated costs and also raise funds for your organization.

For more information about seed packing events, contact Rosanna Kingston, our Program Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 352-217-0800.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

rosanna kingstonGreetings,

I am so excited to have joined the Seed Programs International family because I absolutely believe in our cause. We provide high quality, nutritious commercial-grade vegetable seed for communities throughout the world who don’t already have access to this life-giving resource. Learning gardening skills through our partner programs also empowers people and communities to move toward self-sufficiency. These skills stay in the community, strengthening the local economy and enriching traditional knowledge. I can think of no other way to deliver so much nutrition so efficiently.

So far this year, 108,000 seed packets have been distributed through our partners in 27 countries. Our seed has been used in a variety of programs, from school gardens in Honduras to a commercial vegetable garden which is building economic sustainable livelihoods for internally displaced women in Ethiopia. So many lives are changing through our partnerships with you.

As much as I believe in our mission, I recognize that we are just one element in the fight against global hunger and poverty. We want to be a resource for the many valuable organizations working on these problems. We want to be your partner as you take on these challenges.

At Seed Programs International, we believe that partnering with other nonprofits is key to creating healthier, stronger, sustainable communities across the world. We want to support you and the people that benefit from your programs by providing high-quality vegetable seed and gardening skills training.

I am looking forward to getting to know all of you, our partners, and together exploring ways to combat hunger and poverty. I welcome new organizations and hope you will consider us a resource for your programs.

We will be on the road this fall visiting organizations, making new connections, and identifying new resources to enrich our service to you. You can find me at the One Accord Network and Echo International Agriculture conference, a first for Seed Programs International. Peter Marks, our CEO, will attend the MX Logistics Forum in October. If you or your colleagues plan to attend either of these conferences, please let us know! We want to meet you and learn more about your work. Maybe there is a chance for us to work together.

I would like to thank all of you for your trust and commitment in working with Seed Programs International. Together we are planting the seeds of hope!

Sincerely,

Rosanna Kingston
Program Coordinator

 

Clearing space for a garden at the dar talibaClearing space for a garden at the dar taliba

Hi Folks,

SPI has a long history of partnering with Peace Corps volunteers. Peace Corps Morocco volunteers serve in remote, mostly rural areas, focusing on empowering youth and local communities. Seeds are used to teach students about agriculture and environmental issues, assist in starting local garden projects, and encourage the community to grow some of their own food. Seed distribution and planting is a multifaceted activity. In fact, most volunteers used the seed program as an opportunity to teach about the environment, botany, agriculture, and keep people linked to their land with an understanding of botanical life.

A large portion of this activity occurs in youth centers and boarding schools. Making these establishments not only a place of learning for the children, but also a hub for the local community. One Peace Corps Volunteer shares a story on this topic:

Planting at the dar talibaPlanting at the dar taliba

“My garden project took place at the dar taliba (girls boarding school) in my community, a dormitory for girls from the surrounding rural communities who study at my site's middle and high schools during the week. The building has a large outdoor courtyard area, most of which was largely untended — and provided a great space for a garden! A group of girls from the dar taliba worked with me between their classes on each step of the garden, from pulling weeds and removing rocks to breaking up the soil to planting. It quickly became a project for the whole dar taliba community; the women who run the building and the cooks often joined us as well. The cooks hope to use the vegetables from the garden in the meals they prepare for the girls during the week.

Because the girls at the dar taliba come from smaller, rural communities, many of their families have gardens at home. They were both excited to plant vegetables they grow at home and curious to learn about varieties they had never seen before. Our time in the garden so far has also provided a wonderful opportunity for conversation and cultural exchange, as we've discussed everything from Ramadan to gardening in the United States while breaking up the soil and planting seeds. I'm really grateful we had access to these seeds.” — Abby Senuty, Peace Corps Morocco Volunteer

Planting Earth Day seedlingsPlanting Earth Day seedlings

Ready to grow!Environmental awareness and stewardship plays a large part in Peace Corps Morocco’s message. This past Earth Day, many of the schools and youth centers focused on planting.

“During Earth Day, there were presentations on the environment and then after the kids made bird feeders and these little planter bottles where we gave the kids seeds for their planters! We still have some seeds left over and are planning to do similar planters at our preschool.” — Maggie Blackburn, Peace Corps Morocco Volunteer

“I have used some of the seeds sent to me for an activity during Earth Day. Because there is no open space for a garden at the local Dar Chebab, we chose to plant the seeds in cardboard boxes to practice reusing and recycling local materials. The students will take turns watering the plants, and we eventually hope to find a spot to transplant them in the future.” — Ilana Shapiro, Peace Corps Morocco Volunteer

Starting seedlings for the garden in Tighomar, MoroccoWe hope to have more reports to share from Peace Corps Morocco as they continue growing inspiration and wonder in children with just a little seed and knowledge. It is through support like yours that SPI can continue partnerships like these all over the globe. Thank you for your trust and support of SPI and our partners.

With gratitude,

The SPI Team


Contact Us

Seed Programs International

PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815
+1-828-337-8632

 

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.