In my last blog, you may read here if you missed it, http://sendseedstoafrica.org/pickering-rotary-all-givers/ ,
I explained how we used the money donated to SEEDS from the Rotary Club of Pickering in 2016.
In this blog I will be explaining how we have spent the monies so kindly donated from the Rotary Club of Pickering this past November 2017.
“A HUGE THANK YOU TO ROTARY CLUB OF PICKERING”
I don’t know if you have ever stayed, for a length of time, in a hot dusty climate where they use an ox cart to take their crops to market on sand roads and burn trees to make charcoal to cook their one, maybe two meals per day.
By the end of the day, your feet are black from walking on roads and fields infused with charcoal ash as that is one of the ways to add nutrients to the infertile sand and make it more alkaline (not just sandy, pure sand) that you grow your food in.
I have spent many cool nights in Zambia, too tired to have a cold shower after a day of 35 degree Celsius heat before putting my black feet into bed sheets that I am trying to keep clean as long as possible before the next hand wash.
The first few nights I filled a basin full of cold water and hand washed my feet while sitting on a small handmade cow hide stool. Then I realized if I filled the basin in the morning it would have time to warm up through the day and the water would at least be the same temperature as the air by the time I washed my feet.
Our Resource Gardens and Tree Nursey at SEEDS Mongu, Barotseland is a training centre complete with a bore hole (well) for water, drip irrigation in the main field where the maize, pumpkins and green beans are growing. Vegetables growing under the orange & lemon trees to shade them from the hot sun a long side flowers to encourage the GOOD bugs like Lady Bugs who eat bad bugs like aphids. We are all Organic.
Socio-Economic and Environmental Development Solutions (SEEDS), is a registered Canadian Charity #801572736RR0001 based in Toronto, Canada that collects non-GMO fruit tree and vegetable seeds which we dry and send for distribution and planting in Zambia, Africa. We work in Mongu and Kalabo, Western Province Zambia, an area which has very little commerce and lacks viable seed varieties to sustain the population. In this part of Zambia, 85% of the population lives in poverty, the highest level in the country. To help alleviate some of the food insecurity in the area due to these high levels of poverty, we collect non-GMO vegetable seeds in Toronto Canada, from student volunteers at Bendale B.T.I, an organic grocery store – The Big Carrot, and others. The seeds are then dried, packaged and sent to the Silozi Seed Bank in Mongu and Kalabo, where they are distributed to locals for planting. In exchange, these local partners gather fallen tree seeds for the tree and fruit tree nursery that is a budding enterprise at the Silozi Seed Bank. These trees are then planted in communities by our local staff and through our voluntourism tree planting initiative. Surplus seedlings are also sold for a nominal fee to help support project activities and to help endangered Elephants. Thanks to the generous donations of our partners and volunteers, since 2013, we have, so far collected, dried, packaged and sent over 4.6 million seeds and handed out seeds to over 400 families.
So I have decided to use the money so kindly donated to us from Pickering Rotary to buy a solar shower for SEEDS Bed & Breakfast – Mongu-Mulopo Flats.
So now you are really confused! We have also opened SEEDS B&B Mongu- Mulopo Flats a long side our Silozi Seed Bank, Trees for Elephants Tree Nursery and Resource Gardens which is all on the same property with our manager Fredrick’s home. The existing Flats were renovated to accommodate people who come to volunteer with us for our “voluntourism trips” and to rent out to traveler’s to make a bit of extra money for maintenance & repairs.
Now you may think that having a solar shower is a bit of a luxury and that the money donated would be better spent to help local farmers when in fact, installing a solar shower, will help the local farmers.
Fredrick, our manager at The Silozi Seed Bank and Trees for Elephants Tree nursery, is 62 years old and has never had hot water to do dishes nor a hot shower in his home where our Resource Gardens & Tree Nursery are located.
Fredrick is an Induna, which is an African tribal councillor or headman (under the king); someone in authority, a boss. When visiting SEEDS Mongu I have witnessed some times as many as 10 people a day coming to meet with Fredrick for various reasons. It could be to discuss the latest political or social event or to ask advice re marital or legal issues or even to fix a broken pot handle.
So now Fredrick will not have to endure cold water shock in the heat of a 35 degree Celcius day because he had to get clean right away to attend to some local issues or attend one of the many funerals each day. I was there and witnessed 6 funeral processions pass by SEEDS all in one day.
So by installing a solar shower at our Resource Gardens where farmers and local villagers come from far & wide to pick up fruit and vegetable seeds, and obtain training on how to grow all of the seeds we provide, they will also learn about solar technology.
According to Power Africa, a U.S. government-led partnership coordinated by USAID to double access to electricity by 2030, Zambia currently has 2,400 megawatts (MW) of installed electrical capacity, virtually all of which is hydro, and only 47 percent of the urban population and 4 percent of the rural population have access to power.
Also by offering our voluntourism groups and guests a hot solar shower we are enhancing the enjoyment of their visit and therefore will be able to charge $25.00/night instead of the $20.00 we are charging now.
So thank you so much, Pickering Rotary Club for all you do, all of the love you share and for being givers!
It is true that old saying, What goes around, comes around and because of you we can add “ and It’s spreading” to that saying.
To find out more about our Bed & Breakfast in Mongu, Barotseland or our voluntourism trips go to our blog post http://sendseedstoafrica.org/seeds-b-b-mongu-mulopo-flats/. or http://sendseedstoafrica.org/voluntourism-trip-to-zambia-august-2017/
or on Face Book https://www.facebook.com/Siloziseedbanktreesforelephants/.
or to help with our newest location in Chipata , Zambia https://www.facebook.com/seedschipata/
Or feel free to call Joanne at 647 444-5534.
97% of the financial donations we receive go directly to our five locations in Zambia.
Happy Holiday Giving!