Seeds for Peace Corps Volunteers

Seed Programs International

A family, The Gambia.Over the years, Seed Programs International has provided seeds for many Peace Corps volunteers, in countries like South Africa, Bolivia, Peru, Swaziland, and others. Peace Corps staff tell us that no matter what the purpose for their service – business development, education, etc. — once they get in the field, 80% of volunteers observe nutritional needs and get engaged with some kind of food production work. This holiday season, we had a special request at SPI – to help Stephen Filipiak, a talented agriculture volunteer with the Peace Corps in The Gambia, West Africa.

Stephen, an experienced organic farmer in Hawaii, was already deeply engaged with local villagers in innovative practices — such as improving soil with carbonized rice husks and biodynamic preparations, but mostly using these efforts to grow more and better grain crops like maize, millet, and rice. He recognized a lack of fresh vegetables in local diets and contacted SPI about vegetable seeds.

Having read a trial of Okra varieties grown in the tropics, part of Stephen’s request was for a specific okra type, ‘Burmese,’ introduced and carried by Virginia-based Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE), a supporter of SPI since 2012. SESE graciously donated 10 pounds of ‘Burmese’ okra for sharing in Gambia — a blessing indeed since this is not a variety we could have accessed any other way. If you’re a gardener in the US and not familiar with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, do check them out, and thank them for supporting our work.

Beyond the donation from SESE, we are sending additional seed and need to cover the significant shipping cost to The Gambia. If you can help, please chip in with a tax-deductible donation and let’s send these seeds on their way to West Africa!

See to learn more about Stephen and see many great pictures of what is being achieved in the village where he’ll be posted for 2 years.

All seeds are non-GMO.

Please donate today to help this effort. This thermometer will be updated daily to reflect gifts received in each 24 hour period.

Note: The first funds raised will help gardeners in The Gambia as described here. However, we are also engaged with Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) in Zambia and Ecuador and steadily receive ongoing inquiries. So, funds raised above and beyond the needs of the Gambia shipment will be designated for other current and future shipments to PCVs. Thank you so much!

Donate Now

You can give online at GiveDirect, our secure donation processing partner. Please enter “Peace Corps Seeds” in the comments field to support this project. All gifts to SPI are tax-deductible.

We welcome checks mailed to: SPI, PO Box 9163, Asheville, NC 28815.

Thank you for supporting nutrition and livelihood for thousands of people worldwide. SPI seed recipients face hunger and poverty and lack access to the resources they need to lift themselves into better times. Most live on less than $2 per day.

Biodynamic Preparation 500 Stephen Filipiak Tractor in Gambia Stephen Filipiak

Share this post

Submit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Contact Us

Seed Programs International

PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815


Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)

Registered Charity No. 839858107RR0001
Lombardy, ON

Get Connected

Facebook  Twitter  Email

Join Our Newsletter

Signup with your email address below to receive our quarterly e-newsletter.


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.