Updates

Seed Programs International

The women

The women

We are all grateful for your support of our women's gardening efforts in the most impoverished countries worldwide including Madagascar, Guatemala, and Liberia. By providing top-quality vegetable seeds and locally-driven support, seed programs give women a path to empowerment, income, and nutrition. 

The women of Chajul, Guatemala project are all working hard to make their garden a success. They extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your support.

" Thank you , Thank you. No one has ever before given us the opportunity to help ourselves.  We are proud of our ability to work the soil in the Mayan way and thank you for believing in us."

They received orientation instructions in their own language of Ixil Mayan in a high school classroom .  This was a very exciting day, especially because they’ve never had the opportunity to go to school. They were very attentive and entered into good discussion with relevant questions about the project. 

Liberian orphans

Liberian orphans

We give our deep thanks for your generous support of the Liberia project. Although progress has persisted for six months in a very "slow but steady" fashion, the recent GlobalGiving 100% match has helped to finally allows us to jump in with both feet. It’s been one year since we first heard about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and you may not be seeing or hearing about it so much in the media these days. The outbreak left the already struggling population crippled with food shortages, price spikes, and faced with missed planting and harvesting seasons. With the recent shipment of 50,000 packets of seeds successfully delivered to Liberia, we are working with our in-country partner, Church Aid Liberia, in monitoring distribution and planting of the seeds.

We thank you so much again for your generous support of this microproject to produce gardens for elders in the area of Chajul, Guatemala. At this point there are 20 elders identified and more on a waiting list to receive this gardening support. All are excited for this project to develop.

There have been several interesting developments since we initiated the project, which is still in early stages of execution.

First, Our partner organization ASO-Ixil, identified four farmers who will host gardens. This will provide a land base for those who do not have it.

Second, ASO-Ixil agronomist Henry Caba researched fertilizers that would help improve the soil in gardens in Chajul. Having identified a Guatemalan vendor of an appropriate organic fertilizer, Mr. Caba succeeded in bringing her to the community for a workshop. The workshop participants were the ASO-Ixil Board, local farmer leaders, widows and elders. They also invited some local university agriculture students who will be providing labor.

Third, ASO-Ixil is now comparing vegetable seed prices from sources around their region of Guatemala, and possibly offering seed in the local hardware store. This is an innovative strategy that uses local commerce as a partner in providing aid, rather than setting up a more "handout" type system of just giving people seeds. Elders supported by the program would receive vouchers to subsidize the cost at the hardware store. After receipt of the voucher, your donations will reimburse the store owner for the seed cost.

And most recently, our partner Aso Ixil put together a gardening workshop using power point with a projector purchased with Global Giving funds from a previous project! The workshop was attended by widows and elders who are mostly illiterate, and therefore greatly benefited from the visual presentation.

The next planting season starts in September with a harvest in November. We will be sure to post another report once harvests begin, so you can see the fruits of your gift emerging from the soil.  

Again: Thank you so much for your support! You are making a difference in a special community where needs are real and the motivation to improve lives is activated and powerful.

 Working the Soil
Working the Soil

We thank you so much again for your support of this microproject to produce gardens for widows and elders in the area of Chajul, Guatemala. If you are not familiar with this part of the world, you can learn more about its history and get initial hints as to why there are so many widows, starting at this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chajul.

There have been two recent developments in this project which is still in early stages of execution. First, our partners in Chajul, the organization ASO-Ixil, determined that many of the widows simply don’t have adequate land at home for gardening, or if they do, the soil has never been improved and the work to do so would be excessive. A creative solution was found: they identified four farmers who will host gardens for nearby widows on their land, 5 widows each. This will provide a land base for those who do not have it.

In this country we think of most widows as quite elderly, but in rural Guatemala, where so many people are lost at a young age, there is much more age diversity. The identified widows who will benefit from your support range in age from 33 to 84. 

Second, ASO-Ixil is now comparing vegetable seed prices from sources around their region of Guatemala, and possibly offering seed in the local hardware store. This is an innovative strategy that uses local commerce as a partner in providing aid, rather than setting up a more "handout" type system of just giving people seeds.

Widows supported by the program would receive vouchers to subsidize the cost at the hardware store. After receipt of the voucher, your donations will reimburse the store owner for the seed cost.

At this point there are 50 widow households identified and more on a waiting list to receive this gardening support. All are excited for this project to develop. While we are only required to post this one “final report” on this smaller project, we will be sure to post another once harvests begin, so you can see the fruits of your gift emerging from the soil. 

Again: Thank you so much for your support! You are making a difference in a special community where needs are real and the motivation to improve lives is activated and powerful.

Graphic from ASO-Ixil Facebook Page

Graphic from ASO-Ixil Facebook Page

Links:

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.