P.E.I.-based volunteer organization hopes to send message of hope to Kenyan partners through holiday donations
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to make daily life challenging for people in Kenya, including the women’s groups, farmers, dairies and schools that are the partners of Farmers Helping Farmers.
In October, Kenya finally lifted a nationwide curfew that had been in place since March 2020. But the vaccination rate of Kenyans remains low, only 4.6 percent of the adult population fully vaccinated, according to government figures from October 2021.
Last year, supporters of Farmers Helping Farmers helped to raise more than $100,000 during the 2020 Holiday Campaign, which provided everything from vegetable seeds to cookstoves, water tanks to solar lights, school gardens to a dairy cow for a family.
This year, the P.E.I.-based volunteer group is hoping for the same kind of support for the farm families that are at the heart of the work of Farmers Helping Farmers.
Again in 2021, donations towards certain items will be multiplied fivefold, thanks to a major project in partnership with Global Affairs Canada. The project is called More Food, Better Food: Empowering Kenyan Women Farmers.
FHF needs to raise $240,000 over the life of the project, along with $1 million in federal funding. The Holiday Campaign is a crucial source for those funds.
They include: $15 for a bag to grow vegetables for a farm family, $25 for seeds for a garden, $50 for a solar light for children to study at night, $225 for a fuel-saving stove with chimney to cook a family’s food, $600 for a rainwater storage tank for a family’s clean water, $1,000 to establish and support a vegetable garden for a school, or any general donation. All of those contributions will be multiplied five times with support from Global Affairs Canada as part of the More Food, Better Food project.
New this year is a $50 donation towards face masks and hand wash soap for school children at our twinned schools in Kenya.
Another exciting new project is chickens to produce eggs for a family, with a $75 donation that will be multiplied by five through the Global Affairs Canada project.
Farmers Helping Farmers is fortunate to have nine Kenyan staff, who continue to work, as COVID-19 measures allow, keeping the momentum of the Global Affairs Canada project moving forward in 2020 and 2021.
They were awarded a special Extra Mile Award at the FHF annual awards, announced in July 2021. Here is the citation that was read at the event:
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.
Over four years, the More Food, Better Food project through Global Affairs Canada will improve food security and nutrition for hundreds of farm families in rural communities near Meru, Kenya.
There are many ways to donate to the Farmers Helping Farmers Holiday Campaign. You can visit our FHF website and click on the DONATE button. There is also a flyer available in the November and December editions of The Buzz, and in The Guardian and Eastern Graphic, if you prefer to mail us your donation.
Donors will receive a gift card in time for Christmas for donations received by December 15, 2021.
One hundred per cent of these gifts will go directly to Kenya.