1000 Survival Gardens (SG) Project update
submitted by Gary Dawyduk, July 2021
 
The project is really hitting its stride with 35 kits delivered since the June report, bringing the total to 260 total kits having reached happy families.  As usual, RC Hillcrest has provided their invaluable assistance in co-ordinating the deliveries, with the latest sent to beneficiaries in the Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) province with the cooperation of local NGOs Umgibe Farming Organics and Project Zero2Five.    
 
The recent social and economic crisis reported in the world news media have caused significant logistics challenges in the KZN region.  Thankfully this situation appears to be settling and we are hopeful to continue apace very soon.  During this crisis we have been in touch with one of our beneficiary communities who have reported that the SG kits are now more valuable than ever given the that food supply chains are anticipated to be further disrupted in the short term as a result of the crisis.
 
The project has just passed its first anniversary and, with current planning and commitments, we will be closing in on reaching half of our goal with approximately 200 more SG kits slated for delivery in the coming months.  As the success of the project grows, so does the demand with over 300 further applications having been received.

In dollar terms, each SG kit costs CDN$250.00, translating into approximately $112,500 thus far having been raised by the SG committee.  To fulfill our goal of 1000 SG kits, a further $137,500 will need to be raised and the target is to reach this by the end of June 2022.  However, the pace of the project's development and corresponding demand suggests that we may exceed and continue well beyond our set goal.

Our committee's fundraising efforts have encouraged Rotary Clubs to think in terms of donating as many SG kits as they see fit and this approach has resonated with the majority of kits being donated by multiple Rotary Clubs, dozens of individual Club members, and Districts throughout Canada.
May 2021
Greetings, friends and supporters of our projects in South Africa. I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe.
 
Update May 2021
 
It is time, once again, for my annual update. How the years have flown by! It seems just a few years ago that, with your support, we joined in the creation of the then “Makaphutu”, now iKhethelo Children’s Village in the Valley of Thousand Hills, South Africa, which took in AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. A few years ago I reported that we had the joy and privilege of meeting the first 2 high school graduates from iKhethelo. Now I can happily tell you that we have many post-secondary graduates who are gainfully involved in various fields of employment. In addition, the Village has become a source of support for the surrounding villages, growing community gardens with them, providing holiday camps for the children and serving as a resource centre for people who have no access to technology, etc.

In the past year we completed another Global Grant project bringing a permanent source of clean water to a neighbouring children’s village as we did at iKhethelo about 5 years ago.
 
In addition, COVID challenged us to come up with solutions to the serious issue of food shortages in the remote villages. After dabbling in short-term solutions for a few months, we decided to take the lead from the Grannies who were encouraging their fellow grandmothers to grow community gardens as a long term solution. Thus was born our current exciting “1000 Survival Gardens” project for which your kind contributions have enabled us to make an excellent start. We are closing in on delivering over 350 of these SG kits and we would like to reach our goal of 1000 within the next 12 months.
 
Similarly, we have also started another Global Grant in a village that will combine the sourcing of water along with the development of homestead and One of the many families who have received Survival Garden kits
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
commercial gardens that will allow for long term self-sufficiency and food security.
 
As a special treat this year, we are inviting you to register for a virtual presentation via Zoom on this coming June 21st, that will allow you to hear from people involved in carrying out the three projects mentioned above.
Please see the information in the attachment for more details. This will be an excellent opportunity for you, our stalwart friends and supporters, to connect directly with those who are ensuring your donations change the lives of their beneficiaries. We look forward to seeing you there!
Thank you so much for staying the course with us over so many years. You are continuing to help us make a difference.
With sincere gratitude,
Strini
 
COVID-19 Response Projects in South Africa: Direct Aid for Food Supplies
 1)      Sondla Abantwana (Taking Care of Children)
In partnership with the Rotary Club (RC) of Johnannesburg New Dawn, the RC of Winnipeg donated USD $1500 to help feed resident students at the Alexandra township near Sandton, Johannesburg.  In April of 2020, RC New Dawn established the Sondla Abantwana fund to assist the Alexandra Education Committee’s (AEC) efforts to provide financial support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  The AEC has set up a direct system of electronic fund transfers to the bank accounts of the neediest pupils who, in return, provide receipts of their purchases.  This approach has proven to be extremely orderly and agile in response to the pressing need.
 
In a Rotary Zoom meeting on August 5th, several members of RC New Dawn joined and thanked the RC of Winnipeg directly.  
 
 
 
 
  1. Porridge Project
Our partner Rotary E-Club of South Africa One brought our attention to a resourceful means of providing basic nutrition to large numbers of people in remote villages near Pietermaritzburg.  E-Club One is working in conjunction with the North West University’s “Centre for Advanced Manufacturing” and the Potch-Tlokwe Chamber of Commerce to craft and distribute a pre-cooked maize-based porridge.  Each meal costs a mere 8 cents (CDN), and a 5 Kg bag of the porridge coverts into 100 meals!  The RC of Winnipeg donated USD $1300 toward this noble cause.
 
  
 
  1. Food Supplies
Through his brother who resides in Kwazulu-Natal, the Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg’s Director of International Service, Strini Reddy, was able to obtain a large amount of food supplies to provide to remote communities in the region.  The supplies were transported from Pietermaritzburg to our partner RC Hillcrest, who in turn saw to the distribution of the food to the neediest areas.  $2500 was donated to accomplish this service.
 
     
 
 
Lily of the Valley Project
 
Located in South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal province, the Lily of the Valley Children’s Village provides residence, health care, education and life skills for approximately 120 orphaned and vulnerable children who are cared for by about 30 resident staff. The Village’s structure and mandate is similar to the nearby iKhethelo Children’s Village, which has been long supported by the Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg in partnership with the RC of Hillcrest. Water supply for the Village is sporadic at best, which can jeopardize the health of the children and pressure the Village’s resources in seeking the water it requires. Owing to the relatively flat geography of the area, harvesting rainwater cannot ensure a sufficient supply, meaning that it would be necessary to take on the considerable expense of building a borehole. 
To fund this worthy endeavour, a Global Grant was sought by a united network of Rotary Clubs.  The RC of Winnipeg contributed USD $10,000, an amount matched by District 5550.  In addition, RC Hillcrest contributed $3,000 (augmented with $5,000 from its District 9370), RC El Camino Real (Oceanside, California) provided $7,000 (with matching funds from its District 5340), while RC Minneapolis donated $10,000.  The Rotary World Fund rounded out the funding with $37,000 to raise the total to $89,000 (over 1.4 million South African Rand).  The Global Grant was approved in August 2020 and the project will soon be underway!  It is anticipated to take 4 - 6 months to complete
Check out the Video 
Dolophini Project
 
Dolophini is a remote sub-village of Taweni in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa.  Of its population of 3500, 80% of working-age residents are unemployed.  The main source of income is government social grants, which has created systemic issues that contribute to persistent poverty in the community.
 
Raised in Taweni, Khaya Mposula left a successful career in banking to return home to help uplift her community.  After successfully developing a community organic gardening project in Taweni (see image below and this link https://www.foodformzansi.co.za/former-banker-champions-organic-food-to-give-mother-nature-a-break/), she turned her attention to the residents of Dolophini.
 
Two potential borehole sites were identified that could provide a consistent supply of running water and, with this potential, Khaya wishes to train residents to grow garden towers that would provide food for themselves and generate additional volume that nearby commercial markets have agreed to sell.  This overall project promises a healthy measure of self-sufficiency by providing a local source of food, technical skills, and an independent source of income.
 
This ambitious project was brought to the attention of the Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg by the Rotary E-Club of South Africa One.  As project host, RC Winnipeg won approval for a Global Grant in October 2020, furnishing USD $10,000 that was doubled in matching funds from District 5550.  District 9370 also contributed $3,500 and the Rotary World Fund added $18,500 to amass a total of USD $42,000 for this wonderful project, which will be underway soon!
 

Dadaab Early Childhood Education - Dadaab Refugee Camp - HumanKind International
 
The project involves the construction, equipping, and staffing of an Early Childhood Centre in Dadaab. The Humankind Academy opened in January 2014 and had 71 students. The school expanded to a total of 150 students in January 2015. The children take two years of early education until they are able to enroll in the primary schools. The school has three classrooms, an additional room to act as an administrative office, training equipment for the three programs, an electrical generator and solar equipment to provide power.
 
The school has been enormously successful since inception and the need continues to grow. In collaboration with fellow Rotarian Muuxi Adam of HKI our club decided to support the initiative by raising the necessary funds and building 2 additional classrooms at the Centre so that more children can be admitted.
      
 
Construction of the 2 additional classrooms was completed end of February, 2019. Please see (http://humankindintl.org/) for more details about the Dadaab project.
Gillitts Primary School Sanitation Facilities
 
The recent,  2019,tragic drowning of a child in a pit toilet in South Africa created a national focus on the need for adequate safe toilet facilities at schools. The Gillitts Primary School in the province of Kwazulu-Natal approached our partner club, Rotary Club Hillcrest, for assistance in upgrading their toilets.
 
With the generous support of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg Manitoba Canada coupled with funds raised by Rotary Club of Hillcrest and Kloof Durban South Africa and a matching global grant from the Rotary Foundation, R342,000 (approx. USD 24k) has been raised to double the toilet facilities and make them much safer.
 
The second phase of the project  completed renovation of the girls’ toilet facilities so that the female students will no longer be inclined to miss several days of school each month.
   
 
 
Ngcolosi Village community Centre and Skill Acquisition Project
 
Rotary Club (RC) of Hillcrest has developed a very strong relationship with the headman Mr. Shandu and the people of this village. The Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg helped with the refurbishing and equipping of the community centre which is a gathering place for the villagers especially the seniors. RC of Winnipeg funded the construction of up to date ablution facilities.
 
As well we helped purchase sewing machines and the cost of training the villagers who wanted to learn to sew garments to help the local economy.
 
      
Chirasauta Water Project
 
Located approximately 300km from Harare in the southeastern part of Zimbabwe in the Mashonaland East province of the Chikomba district, the Chirasauta community is a semi-arid place where the rainy season only lasts for 3 months out of the entire year. In 2015 the Rotary Club (RC) of Winnipeg was approached by Dr. Matanga, Executive Director of the Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre Inc. (CMDCI), with a request for assistance to bring water to his remote home village of Chirasauta.
Rotary Club of Winnipeg took on the challenge. Over a period of 18 months we provided water and sanitation education to thousands of students in numerous schools who helped us to raise the necessary funds, a total of $30,000, which included a grant of $6,000 from the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation as well as a contribution from our Rotary District 5550. Towards the end of 2016, we were able to have a borehole drilled and a solar-powered pump installed bringing a permanent source of clean water to residents of Chirasauta and other villages in the surrounding areas. In addition to the many other benefits the girls are now able to go to school instead of making several trips each day to fetch water.
    
 
Holiday Camps
 
Over the past several years the Rotary Club of Winnipeg has funded 2 holiday camps (summer and winter) for children and youth from the iKhethelo Children’s Village and 2 neighbouring villages. The camps, organized by our fellow Rotarians at Rotary Club of Hillcrest, have been a huge success with participants enjoying enriching developmental activities as well as nutritious food.