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January 20, 2004
For immediate release

Farmers Helping Farmers

Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture & Forestry

A group of Islanders representing Farmers Helping Farmers has arrived in east Africa to continue its support to local groups in that region. Winston Johnston, president of Farmers Helping Farmers, and Teresa Mellish are leading a group from the Atlantic Veterinary College to help a group of dairy farmers in Kenya improve their productivity and herd health standards. The group will also be visiting an orphanage that is home to children of AIDS victims.

The organization has received assistance from a number of sources for the visit. The Hillsborough Rotary Club donated $3000 to purchase carpentry and mechanical tools for the AIDS orphan education centre in Tanzania known as MKUKI. “One of our Club’s main objectives is to support disadvantaged youth,” says Hillsborough Rotary Past President, John Carr. “Our club also has a long history of working with international service projects. We saw an opportunity here to partner with another local organization and help youth in desperate need in another part of the world.”

The Island delegation will spend two days at the school to help organize new opportunities and see first-hand the progress made by the students since the last visit in 2002.

Many other donated goods have been gratefully received by Farmers Helping Farmers in preparation for this trip. The Atlantic Veterinary College held a fundraiser to help purchase veterinary equipment. The faculty also donated several of their extra textbooks. These supplies will help the three AVC vet students and their supervisor assist a Kenyan veterinarian at a Farmers Helping Farmers project known as the Wakulima Self-Help Group Dairy.

Vesey’s Seeds has supplied vegetable seeds for African farm families. These families will include those from the Muchui Women’s Group. Over the past two years, each of the sixty women received a water tank, thanks to the generous donations of many Islanders. The Island delegates will once again be welcomed into their community so that the women can show them their most recent project development. Tree seedlings, carefully irrigated with stored rain water, are currently being grown and marketed locally. The women are anxious to demonstrate their success at being entrepreneurs as a result of receiving tanks to store rain water.

The Royalty Rotary Club has also donated funds for a school twinning project. These schools, twinned with Morell Consolidated, Miscouche Consolidated and Vernon River Consolidated, will all be visited by the group as well. “Our bags were packed with all the extras we can carry, thanks to the generous support of Islanders. We are continuously motivated by the tremendous improvements many African farm families will be able to make with these contributions,” said Mr. Johnston.

Islanders will be able to follow the group’s travels on the Web site For more information on the projects the group will be visiting, see

Media Contact: Wayne MacKinnon
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