By Brooke Fader
As a convivium leader, I am always trying to operate on 3 levels: locally, nationally and internationally. The 10,000 Gardens in Africa initiative is a fantastic way to support our Slow Food brothers and sisters as they reclaim the soil and their community’s food production. With over 1700 gardens thriving across the continent, the 10,000 Gardens in Africa project is managed by Africans and returns the power to the people, creating a network of farmers and educators.
The recent outbreak of Ebola left many of our Slow Food friends stranded. Under forced quarantine, with no food or supplies moving in or out of the villages, the Slow Food Gardens were their ONLY source of food during the quarantine. This is a stark reminder that local food is not elite or luxurious. Local food is necessary, practical, and most often the only option for any food at all.
I have been encouraged by the bravery of two brothers who work tirelessly in Sierra Leone to support the communities affected by Ebola. As a result of the deadly outbreak, we lost many of our Slow Food farmers, and 72 orphans were left behind. Ibrahim and Patrick Mansaray have found homes within the children’s two communities, but these families and these children need our help.
Slow Food Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands has committed to supporting the Sierra Leone orphans financially and emotionally. Through our Pen Pal Programme, we aim to encourage these children and let them know that they are not isolated from the rest of the world, that we do care and we do recognise them. Through various small events, we are raising funds to be sent directly to the communities to support the orphans.
I have been in touch with Slow Food International and they have encouraged me to support Ibrahim and Patrick any way we can. Whether financially or emotionally, your small contribution makes a huge impact. I hope you will join us on this important mission.