From a decade-long annual culinary fundraising event held in Souris, to the commitment of Island Lime, this year’s Farmers Helping Farmers (FHF) awards highlighted the contributions to the work of the P.E.I.-based organization that works with partners in Kenya.
Sandra MacKinnon, awards committee member, says the success of any organization is dependent upon the commitment of its volunteers and others.
“We are extremely fortunate to have individuals and groups working in partnership, and raising funds to assist with the challenges faced by many East African farm women and their families.”
The Honourary Life Membership for members who have made an outstanding and substantial contribution to the organization and its purpose goes to the Souris Village Feast Organizing Committee. This 11-member group has organized the highly successful July meal-in-the-field event for over 1,000 attendees annually for the past 10 years. The funds raised have been shared between local causes and Farmers Helping Farmers projects. Over $100,000 has been donated for the building of 13 cookhouses in Kenya and to pay the wages for the gardeners at the schools.
Island Lime manager Mary Robinson, Albany, was presented with a Friend of Farmers Helping Farmers Award which recognizes individuals and businesses who are not members of Farmers Helping Farmers, but who have made a lasting and extending contribution to the association.
Island Lime provided funding for the re-building of a screen house at the Mitoone School (a twinning school with West Kent Elementary School in Charlottetown) after it was destroyed earlier this year by hungry elephants. As a result of this financial support, the Kenyan students are again enjoying the benefits of fresh vegetables in their lunch meals.
Also receiving a Friend of Farmers Helping Farmers Award was the Empower Sewing Group at the Village by the Arboretum in Guelph, Ont. This small group of volunteers lead by Jean Hume produced Days for Girls feminine kits.
This year, four members were recognized for the Volunteer of the Year Award. Ellen Cudmore, Brackley Beach, has been a key organizer of the annual fundraising FHF barbecue since its beginning in the early 1980s, an event that caters to over 725 people annually. Carolyn Francis, Wendy MacDonald, and Liz Townsend were recognized for their work with a new Farmers Helping Farmers project – The Safe and Inclusive Schools project. The project is focused on making Kenyan twinned schools more positive learning spaces.
The Souris Regional High Twinning Program was the recipient of the Youth Award for its efforts in the FHF Twinning project. It is twinned with Kiirua Primary School, and the students actively correspond with their Kenyan friends and organize fundraisers to support Kenyan school projects.
What: Farmers Helping Farmers is an Island-based, award-winning organization of community-minded people with agricultural backgrounds.
Goals: To assist Kenyan farmers in becoming more self-reliant in agricultural ndd production.
Projects: The group assists with the development of small-scale, practical agricultural projects, focusing on direct, person-to-person interaction.
For additional information: Visit www.farmershelpingfarmers.ca.