It was May 2011 when I started doing research about Zambia and it has been quite a journey!
On October 29th, 2017 we will be starting our 5th year as a registered Canadian Charity and in May 2017 I started my 7th year doing what I love.
I was told at the beginning of this journey that charities don’t often make it past 5 years as the hardest thing is to fund-raise but we are going strong thanks to all of the generous help we have been getting from many great people both in Canada and Zambia. Not just monetarily, but by volunteering their time, sharing non GMO organic seeds with us, donating their gently used items for SEEDS Garage Sales and voicing their ideas, comments and support.
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!
Here is an update of what we have accomplished; You don’t have to read it all as it is long but you can look at some of the pictures first if you like.
- November 2016-Nov. 22 went to Pickering Rotary Acceptance Ceremony and received $500 CAD for SEEDS. This enabled us to purchase indoor and outdoor chairs for training farmers and a place for international volunteers and guests to sit while having a meal. Thanks to Susan Eberth and her husband Charles as they were instrumental in getting us this donation. Unofficially, Pickering Rotary will be providing a monetary donation again this year so a BIG Thank You!
- December 2016, Received donations from Canada Helps, Dec. 8th booked flight to open Bed & Breakfast in Mongu. Received donations from Uncle Lynn,and Denis O’Malley to rebuild roof, Melodie Barlow, Sandy Siteplait.
- January 2017, Spoke at Young Women on the Move at Bendale BTI.
- February 2017, Started Renting SEEDS Garage Sales Store,
took possession Feb.6, 2017. 1 Browning Ave., M4K 1V7. with volunteer Michelle Davidson. Acquired volunteer Bharvat Feb.9th for SGS. Set up a table at Geoff’s church for Black History month. Set up table at Toronto Botanical Gardens for SEEDY Sat. Started using Square reader so we can accept Visa, M/C and Amex for donations.
- March 2017, SEEDS Garage Sales Store Grand opening March 4th, 2017. Prepared for trip to Zambia on Mar.28, 2017. March 2, Earl Haig teachers and class came and did a video about “Up Cycling” at SEEDS Garage Sales Store. Airing June 8th, 2017. Click the link to view video, http://sendseedstoafrica.org/upcycling-do-you-know-what-it-is/.
- April 2017, Went to Zambia for 21 days to open SEEDS B & B-Mongu-Mulopo Flatsso they could earn some extra money for upkeep of SEEDS Resource Gardens and The Silozi Seed Bank & Trees for Elephants. Met with Njamba who has graduated from the agriculture program in Koama with 88% and is starting a job in Animal Husbandry in Chongwe. Very proud and happy for him.
- May 2017, Volunteer Claudio joined us May 20th. Started opening SGS Store more with nicer weather. Great response from the community.
- June 2017 hired a gardener for The Silozi Seed Bank & Trees for Elephants and maid for SEEDS B & B Mongu-Mulopo Flats. $25.00/mth for each. Paid 1st 4 mths salary to Fredrick on June 5th, 2017.
SEEDS Garage Sales doing well at 1 Browning Ave., M4K 1V7. But a lot of rain this spring so only opened store when not raining. Community loves what we are doing and getting a lot of great items donated to sell. Volunteer Donna collected items left outside SGS store and put them inside for me while I was away. Earl Haig published their Upcycling video featuring SEEDS Garage Sales Store. Click on video link above.
- July 2017. , Acquired volunteers in Toronto, Michelle, Stasia, Adrienn, Emma, Claudio, Manal, Tash, Alec, Jordan, Muhamed, Edward, Sazzad, Nimmy, Tanesha, Jamin . all getting community hours for school and Kimberly an environmental engineer student also a new volunteers for SGS. Diabetes Canada put a donation collection box at SGS for overflow of donations.
- August 2017, Edward, Nimmy, Muhamed, Tanesha, Alec, Jordan, Jamin, all received their community hours for school working at SGS. SGS really busy. Had visitors from the capital city of Zambia come all the way to Mongu to pick up seeds and local priests are visiting us for seeds as well. Word is getting around in Mongu!
- September 2017, Sazzad, Maddy, Shaima, new volunteers at SGS. Bharvat, a geography student, started back as a volunteers for SGS on Sept. 14th, 2017. Ricardo, a new immigrant to Canada also started on Sept. 22 at SGS. We applied to Pickering Rotary again this year for funding. Planted 10 banana trees and more to come, donated from a local farmer. Built a new shower and toilet for B&B.
- October 2017, Started our 3rd location in Chipata Zambia called SEEDS Chipata and The Ngoni Seed Bank & Trees for Elephants. All of that education for Njamba has paid off as Njamba started working at SEEDS Mongu as our gardener. I am so pleased! New volunteers Justin, Nujhat. 21 volunteers so far this year who have received community hours for school.
- November- Sent the first batch of non GMO seeds to Sioma Ngwezi NP for the conservation officers to grow food.
Here’s to the next 7 years! Thanks again!
Congratulations on 7 years of achievement! Your vision, skills, and hard work are benefiting so many. You, your volunteer army, and your counterparts in Africa are truly an inspiration. Keep up the great work! Lorraine van Zon
Thank you so much Lorraine! You’re not to shabby yourself with all you have done and are still doing to help our aging population world wide. Can’t wait to hear more about your new project and all the best!