Farmers Helping Farmers volunteers prepare to go to Kenya in January

Journal Pioneer Staff
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CHARLOTTETOWN — A team of 11 Farmers Helping Farmers volunteers is busying preparing to travel to the Mount Kenya area of Kenya for three weeks in January and February.

Volunteers with Farmers Helping Farmers heading to Kenya in January and February are Ilse Peters-Ching (front left), Marianne Parent, Teresa Mellish, John van Leeuwen (back left), Alex Burrows, Ron Herbert, Janet Dykerman, Eddy Dykerman, Jolyne Sharkey and Ken Mellish. Missing from the photo is Michael Walker.

Teresa Mellish of New Perth will be monitoring the Food Security Project with the Muchui and Ruuju Women’s Groups. She has been to Kenya with many groups.  

“I really enjoy taking people to volunteer in Kenya and I look forward to working with the great volunteers in this group,” said Mellish, who will also visit some potential new partner groups.

Eddy Dykerman, from Brookfield Gardens in Brookfield, hosted two Kenyan staff from one of Farmers Helping Farmers’ Kenyan partner groups, the Muchui Women’s Group, this summer.  

He will be working with them and the Ruuju Women’s Group to help them improve their vegetable production.  

Janet Dykerman is accompanying him and will be working with the women in these two areas.

The team includes Dr. John van Leeuwen from the Atlantic Veterinary College, who will guide the work of three fourth-year vet students, Alex Burrows of Nova Scotia, Marianne Parent of Quebec, and Michael Walker from New Brunswick.  

They will provide training to the members of five dairy groups on herd health, cow and calf feeding, and milk quality.

This is the 10th year van Leeuwen has taken vet students to Kenya for their “International Dairy Rotation.” Each year he also takes veterinary medicine donated by Canadian veterinary pharmaceutical companies.

Ron Herbert of Charlottetown and Ken Mellish of New Perth will meet with the same five dairy groups to provide initial training on bookkeeping and to train Kenyan accountants on the way we want to have training done in the future.

Ilse Peters-Ching and Jolyne Sharkey, both from the Souris area, are looking forward to seeing the seven cookhouses built at seven Kenyan schools with funds raised by the Village Feast.  

They will also see the lunch-feeding programs for the school children at these schools and spend some time teaching.

Farmers Helping Farmers president, Carolyn Francis, had the opportunity to be in Kenya working with the schools twinned through the FHF School Twinning program several times since 2004.

“It is so encouraging to see the improvements in farming practices, children’s health, education and generally the livelihoods of families involved in Farmers Helping Farmers Projects,” said Francis.


Organizations: Atlantic Veterinary College, FHF School Twinning

Geographic location: Kenya, Brookfield, Muchui Women Nova Scotia Quebec New Brunswick Charlottetown Souris

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