Seed Programs International


Fate during an interview about the project.

Hi folks,

In our last update, we shared that we’re closing this project so we can continue to broaden and deepen our partnerships. We’ve been privileged to work with Yohannes (Grow East Africa) and Daniel (Seed Savers Network Kenya) as they’ve coordinated agile strategies for strengthening the resilience of their communities. And we know it won’t stop with their communities because they are sharing these strategies with new communities even as we write.

We’ll keep our closing short, and instead share a letter we received from one Grow East Africa farmer whose life has changed because of your support and the support of GlobalGiving:

“Thank you so much for all you have done for our community. Just a few years ago we were a community that was worried about what we would eat tomorrow and what the future looks like. Our young people were leaving for the city. Like many of us, they too dreamed of finding a better place to live.

Today, we're still here. Things are looking better thanks to our son Yohannes, who returned to create a path to self-sufficiency for us. Today, not only are we growing our own food, but we're making plans for the future of our people and our community. We are creating markets for ourselves, we're inspiring and empowering each other, and we're saving money and contributing to our own development. Because of the support from Seed Programs International and Yohannes, we now have access to water where there was none.

Students at Valley Bridge Primary School, Nairobi

Students at Valley Bridge Primary School, Nairobi

Hi folks,

First, thank you to all of our early supporters! We’re really excited about this project. Not only do school gardens grow vegetables, they keep kids in school, provide lifelong agronomic skills, and become community hubs for nutrition and training. We know this from years of work with partners who host or coordinate school gardens. Over the years, our partners in Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, and Kenya (among others) have proven how vital school gardens can be for children and communities.

Today’s update is more personal than usual. In 2016, SPI Program Manager Naima Dido spent some time visiting several partners in her home country, Kenya. During her visit, Naima made a point to look up Valley Bridge Primary School, the school she attended as a child in Nairobi. This stop wasn’t only nostalgic — Naima spoke with the headmaster about establishing a school garden and partnering with SPI.

your gift supports haiti

Beatrice Marseille is a Haitian-American nurse practitioner based in New York state. In Beatrice’s original hometown of Meyer, Haiti, the staff of the health care clinic she helped establish now prescribe vegetable seeds along with medicines. Beatrice understands that a vitamin pill or a prescription medicine can help a lot, but for long-term health, clinic patients must take control over their own nutrition, economic power, and well-being. This is where vegetable seeds change lives. This type of change gets woven into the social fabric of the community and extends into future generations.

your gift supports liberiaUmaru Sheriff was once among the “most vulnerable” in society. When the Liberian civil war struck, he was forced to flee his home and everything he knew, and spent five years as a refugee in Sierra Leone. Today, as Executive Director of 4-H Liberia, Umaru leads life-enriching, agriculture-focused learning for students at 80 schools in five counties — many of whom have planted SPI seeds to enhance their school lunches and their own knowledge of agriculture and nutrition. If Umaru has his way, the next generation of Liberians will be stocked with leaders who build a strong future and reject the destructive ways of the past.

Our work here at the office is to be a conduit of your generous giving, transforming a few dollars into garden-centered resources, and ensuring those resources land in powerful hands. People like Umaru and Beatrice are the driving force of our SPI success stories.

There’s a word that comes to mind for me: humanity. So much of our daily news these days is about division, human cruelty, and promotion of self-interest or national interests. I love working for SPI because, in a context that can feel toxic, we can express humanity around the globe by putting resources in the hands of local leaders who are deeply improving their communities. Every day, your gift of vegetable seeds and gardening expertise brings hope, nutrition, income, and self-reliance for those facing unimaginably challenging conditions.

This gift is not expressed as a handout or a short-term fix. The gift of seeds and skills can be guarded by strong leaders like Beatrice and Umaru, preserved, passed on, and multiplied.

Please consider making a generous annual gift to SPI, today. Donate online at givenow.to/SPI or by mail to:

Seed Programs International
PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815

With gratitude,

Peter Marks
CEO / President
Seed Programs International

seeds for school gardensSchool gardens grow vegetables, and also grow future leaders to counter hunger and poverty in their communities. In many locations, a garden-supported school lunch is the only healthy meal a child will receive during the day. These gardens enrich the learning environment, motivate parents to keep kids in school, and teach kids the value of engaging with the land.

Our new project, Seeds and Support for School Gardens Worldwide, will help grow a generation of young adults who can lead families and communities to greater health, economic growth, and resilience to crisis. With your help, we're growing gardens in 9 countries in 2019!

Ayiti KonseVet (AKV), one of our long-term partners in Haiti, has a strong tradition of working with students and school gardens. Under Agronomist Wedly Pierre Décéus’ supervision, AKV has trained teachers, established gardens, and provided support services to schools throughout the regions they serve. To quote, “AKV has a vision to establish school gardens everywhere.”

We’re proud to work with AKV and other partners who support school gardens across the world. We hope you’ll consider supporting them through our project today.

Read more about School Gardens Worldwide →


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.