To help celebrate the 40th anniversary of Farmers Helping Farmers in 2020, we are creating a new Alumni group!
We want to include all of the Canadians who have travelled to Kenya and all the Kenyans who have travelled to Canada in each of our 40 years, since 1980.
We are starting to build the list here and will add to it throughout the 40th anniversary.
If you have travelled to Kenya or to Canada with Farmers Helping Farmers, we want to hear from you! Please contact us by email and, better yet, send along a photo and a few details about when you travelled. Send them to Nancy Russell: firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to a wonderful celebration of 40 great years of Farmers Helping Farmers, with many more to come!
The first group of 22 people from Prince Edward Island went to Kenya and Tanzania in 1981: Adrien van Ekris, Katie van Ekris, Stavert Huestis, Edith Huestis, Barry Cudmore, Ellen Cudmore, Guy Cudmore, Miller Weeks, Olive Weeks, Esther Dickieson, Roy Dickieson, Lloyd Vessey, Mary Vessey, Marion MacRae, Wally Smith, Barb Smith, Dr. Ken MacKay, Pat Duffy, Ernie Mutch, Kees Visser, Ellen Visser, Teresa Mellish.
You can read more about the founders of Farmers Helping Farmers here.
Group Expands Efforts in Kenya
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI -- A team of Prince Edward Islanders with a long
history of working with African farmers is heading back to Kenya in
January to expand its activities. Over the past three years, Farmers
Helping Farmers has been providing professional support to dairy farmers
to help them improve milk production and incomes, and along with
continuing that support, will also be taking on a number of new
"We have achieved a great deal of success in these and other efforts,
and now look forward to building on those achievements," said Janice
Whalen, president of Farmers Helping Farmers. "We will begin working
with an new group of dairy producers, and will also be helping to
establish a school nutrition program along with other efforts to improve
incomes and living conditions."
Veterinarian teachers and students from the Atlantic Veterinary College
have been working with a group of approximately 5000 dairy producers in
Mukurwe-ini, Kenya to help them improve herd health, nutrition and
product quality. Whalen says as a result of improved production and
incomes, more children in the area can now attend school.
Along with continuing to provide that support, Farmers Helping Farmers
will also begin working with a new group, the Embu Dairy Cooperative.
Dr. John van Leeuwen, Ken Mellish and Daniel Scothorn will be assisting
members of the cooperative to improve milk production and quality.
Two other members of the Farmers Helping Farmers group, Colleen Walton
and Heather Angells, will work with staff and parents at the Ruuju
primary school to establish a lunch program for its 400 students,
including the production of vegetables.
In addition to evaluating projects completed to date, Winston Johnston
and Teresa Mellish will be laying the groundwork for future initiatives
in the area. They will also continue their work with a womans' group
in Muchui to produce and market tree seedlings.
Farmers Helping Farmers receives matching financial support from the
Canadian International Development Agency, which contributes $2 for
every one dollar raised by the volunteer organization. It celebrated its
25th anniversary in 2004, and since its inception, has provided
financial support of over $3 million for projects throughout east
"There is certainly an increased awareness of the needs of many
developing countries throughout Africa which are suffering from a host
of social, economic and political problems," said Whalen. "We
welcome financial support to continue our work among African farm
families to improve their standard of living and quality of life."
Dr. John van Leeuwen from the Atlantic Veterinary College along with three 4th year veterinary students worked with dairy farmers in the Wakulima Group as well as the Embu Group to improve the health of dairy cows and calves. They took donated veterinary pharmaceuticals for their work valued at $30,000. Anna Portnoy from Bonshaw, PE, Olivia Harvey, Petitcodiac, NB and Andrea Dube , Lake Echo, NS. were the students.
Semi-retired dairy farmer from Danny Bondt from Kingston, P.E.I. travelled to Kenya for the first time.
Heather Angell from Grand Pre, NS worked with the group to evaluate the projects funded by Farmers Helping Farmers.
Ken and Teresa Mellish from New Perth, P.E.I. were also part of the 2007 group.
February 2007 - A group of five Island teachers travelled to Mukurwe-ini:
Sara, Heather Lea, Danna, Ashley, and Cynthia
UPEI interns Julie Mutch, Chelsea Morrison and Katie Testu collected information on several Farmers Helping Farmers projects. UPEI Dean of Science Christian Lacroix visited the group in November 2007.
UPEI student Billy MacDonald described soccer, or football as they call it in Kenya, as the universal language.
Carolyn Francis, coordinator of the public engagement project, Engaging Island Communities in Global Development and Patsy Dingwell, chair of the FHF education committee went to Kenya in June 2008.
Teresa Mellish and UPEI interns Bobby Cameron, Billy MacDonald, and 3rd year nutrition students Doreen Pippy and Sharla Goodwin worked with the Wakulima Dairy and the Othaya Dairy.
Colleen Walton travelled to Kenya to work on a CIDA project, working with Othaya Dairy and Ruuju Women’s Group.
Five people travelled to Kenya from October 23 until November 15, 2008 to work with Farmers Helping Farmers partner groups. Dr. Winston Johnston worked with the Muchui Womens Group in Kiirua to support their crop diversification program. Ken Mellish worked with the Othaya and Thubuku Dairy groups. Daniel Scothorn from Nova Scotia trained the Othaya and Thubuku dairy groups on how to feed their cows for more milk production. Michael Whelton from New Brunswick assisted the Muchui Womens Group on their accounting practices. Teresa Mellish monitored the groups.