Generous Students and P.E.I. Children’s Author among the 2021 Farmers Helping Farmers Award Winners
Nine Kenyan staff also recognized with Extra Mile Award
Generous students in P.E.I. and New Brunswick, as well as children’s author Patsy Dingwell, were among the winners at the 2021 Farmers Helping Farmers awards, presented recently in Charlottetown. The ceremony also featured a special Extra Mile Award, recognizing nine Kenyan staff who have kept the work of Farmers Helping Farmers going in Kenya despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Farmers Helping Farmers awards recognize the organization’s volunteers, supporters and members,” said Sandra MacKinnon, a member of the awards committee.
“We are extremely fortunate to have individuals and groups, working in partnership with Farmers Helping Farmers, to assist with projects that improve the lives Kenyan farm women and their families.”
This year’s award recipients:
The Youth Award was presented to two junior high classes; one in P.E.I. and another in N.B.
Souris Regional School Class 7 and its teacher Ilse Peters-Ching were recognized for their recycling efforts and using the money generated to assist with gardens in Kenya so that Kenyan students would have access to more nutritious lunches.
In New Brunswick, Class 7S in the Perth-Andover Middle School and teacher Kelly Stephenson were recognized for their contribution toward improving conditions at a Kenyan school. Through fundraising initiatives, they raised sufficient funds to purchase a water tank for the Kibirichia Primary school, a stove, a solar light and other items for the students. A special initiative included directing funds towards making the school disability-friendly.
Both classrooms engaged in learning more about the country of Kenya and the life of its students.
The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Patsy Dingwell.
One of the highlights for Farmers Helping Farmers during the past year was Patsy’s successful launch of her book Broken Crayons. The story was inspired by the real-life experience of Ellen Gillis, a teacher in training from UPEI who travelled to Kenya in 2005.
The book was launched virtually to schools across P.E.I., as well as at a live event held at Beaconsfield. The book shares the message of Farmers Helping Farmers, as well as highlighting the generosity of the Kenyan people.
The Friend of Farmers Helping Farmers Award was presented to the Pindoff Family Charitable Foundation of Toronto. The Foundation was established by Kroum and Eva Pindoff. It was recognized for the unsolicited contribution to Farmers Helping Farmers, with no requirements on how it was to be spent. The money will enable Farmers Helping Farmers to extend its reach to more women’s groups near the area where work is currently undertaken. These funds will make a difference in the lives of families who live in very dry areas of Kenya.
The Extra Mile Award recognized nine Kenyan staff who have gone the extra mile during COVID-19. Despite the pandemic they continued to implement the Global Affairs Canada funded project: More Food. Better Food: Empowering Kenyan Women Farmers. When they could not meet with groups, they worked with individual farmers. They arranged to distribute masks and hand sanitizers to schools. They found a new variety of beans that had more iron than previous varieties. When there was no potato seed available in the county, they found another source and secured it. For their positive and helpful attitude, Farmers Helping Farmers is extremely grateful.
Farmers Helping Farmers is an Island-based, award-winning organization of community-minded people. The group’s goal is to assist Kenyan farmers in becoming more self-reliant in agricultural food production. FHF assists with the development of small-scale practical agricultural projects, focusing on direct, person-to-person interaction. For additional information on the organization, visit www.farmershelpingfarmers.ca.