Updates

Seed Programs International

Second place winners at the agricultural fair

Second place winners at the agricultural fair

Hi folks,

4-H Liberia is a long-term SPI partner who has been accomplishing good work with students through school gardens for years. Their school-based clubs have reached over 4,000 young people over six counties, serving students between the ages of 13 and 25. 4-H Liberia’s garden programs empower young people to become self-sufficient citizens by developing their potential in premier leadership, agricultural sustainability, and essential life skills.

Each school club maintains their own garden, which serves as a platform for learning agriculture. These school gardens are a way to:

  • Equip students to become competent and self-sufficient in food production
  • Scout out future farmers
  • Inspire students to become productive citizens
  • Enhance students’ potential in premier leadership

As part of their support for youth development, 4-H Liberia has integrated a commitment to gender equity into their programs — almost half of their members are young women, many of whom are in leadership positions alongside their male peers. Their staff and students understand better than anybody that the empowerment of women and girls in Liberia is not where it should be in this day and age. They see it in their homes and communities, much like many other places around the world. 4-H Liberia Executive Director Umaru Sheriff repeatedly shares his mantra with his staff and students, “when you enable a girl or a woman to be in charge of her future and livelihood, you become part of the change and development of communities, and it makes waves of positive changes that raise everyone, including boys and men.” This is only one of the reasons we’re proud to be in partnership with 4-H Liberia!

Fate harvesting corn in a Grow East Africa field.

Fate harvesting corn in a Grow East Africa field.

Hi folks,

We're happy to open this project on a bright note by featuring the continued work of Grow East Africa, our local partner in Ethiopia. One purpose of this project is to increase long-term resilience to climate change, social crisis, and political crisis for communities most vulnerable to upheaval. Grow East Africa is doing just that!

Grow East Africa is an Ethiopian-American led organization working with about 1,000 families at a crossroads for Kenyan - Ethiopian IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). Co-Founder Yohannes Chonde understands the families' journey, the experience of displacement, and what they need to be successful because may of the families come from his ancestral home, Burji District.

We recently heard from Wato Seif, a Grow East Africa Officer, who shared what it was like to be displaced:

“Not many years have passed since we became internally displaced, leaving our homes and properties, and escaping with just the shirts on our backs and the few belongings we were able to carry. Upon arrival, we found ourselves in the midst of a different culture, a foreign language, and hardships from lack of shelter and ownership of land necessary for an agrarian society.”

Tecpan Women's Group has seeds!

Tecpan Women's Group has seeds!

Hi folks,

This month, our update comes from Tecpan, Guatemala, where a group of Mayan women have recently begun gardening again with SPI’s support. These farmers aren’t newcomers—in addition to their traditional knowledge, most have vegetable-growing experience from a program that was supported by Wendy de Berger, the First Lady of Guatemala from 2004 - 2008.

When the government changed, support for this program was ended and the Tecpan farmer’s gardens went fallow without access to good seed. However, their group didn’t disband. Led by Paula López, women continued to meet regularly to preserve their Mayan culture and find ways to support each other. Gardens are one way to facilitate the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge and also provide nutrition and income to communities. This is such an important activity for people whose communities and cultures have been disrupted by generations of political violence aimed at destroying their identity.

With your support, we were able to provide Paula with good seed. The group immediately gathered to determine how best to share radish, cucumber, eggplant, cabbage, and carrot seeds amongst the 55 women. Over several meetings, Paula distributed the seed and reviewed basic planting instructions. These are strong, self-organized women, and they only needed access to a few resources to re-establish their gardening program.

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Sowing seeds in a tire garden, FONDAMA

Hi folks,

Your generous support, and the support of GlobalGiving, has done so much to mitigate the effects of Hurricane Matthew and subsequent setbacks by putting vegetable seeds, tools, and fertilizer in the hands of farmers who had lost everything. Now, our partners are considering what a post-recovery program should look like.

In the last report, we shared that we’re bringing this project to a close so we can collaborate on a broader project. Our partners have established, and continue to develop, resilient networks that can move their farmers toward collective self-sufficiency. Sharing the skills and resources already on the ground has gone a long way toward ensuring that farmers will be prepared for the next challenge.

The new project is still being designed based on feedback from our partners. As the physical infrastructure continues to be rebuilt, we’re finding ways to work with our partners and their farmers where they are. Most of all, the new project should be adaptable so it can respond to new challenges as they arise.

We all know Haiti has more than its share of challenges, but it also has incredible community innovators. Partners like FONDAMA exemplify this. You might remember their tire gardens from our last report — they trained communities to adapt the materials at hand, tires, and protect their vegetables from floods and wind. The photos in this report show one of the community trainings.

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.