The Gay Lea Foundation continues its work to support community development projects in Canada and in developing nations.

The Gay Lea Foundation continues its work to support community development projects in Canada and in developing nations.

At its March 2016 meeting, the foundation board approved a grant to Scientists in Schools, to pay for half-day workshops in schools in underserved communities. The young scientists experiment and learn alongside teachers and parent volunteers as they peer into microscopes, test their powers of observation, explore insect adaptations and design pneumatic models to solve a problem.

We also wanted to share this story recently received from one of our donees, the Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR), so our members can read firsthand how our dollars are also making an impact in a remote community in Tanzania.

Mzubwa Samwel, a 40-year old mother of six, lives on the island of Ukerewe. With few resources and little contact with mainland agricultural practices, residents had regressed to heavy dependence on mono cropping cassava, making the entire island vulnerable to disease outbreaks.

Mzubwa joined one of CPAR’s Farmer Field Schools, where farmers work together in groups to learn improved methods of cultivating crops, increasing diversification and generating additional income-generating opportunities.

She says, “Last year I produced two bags of maize. This was not even enough to sustain my family for six months of the year. Thanks to CPAR, this year I will harvest 10 bags of maize from the same plot of land. I will store six bags for my family’s needs and sell the remaining four bags to start a small business. I am going to invest in selling sardines and fruit to support my family with clothes and their school needs. From the money I earn, I will also be able to make contributions towards the construction of a new primary school in our village.”

Mzubwa’s passion for improving her crop performance and exploring additional income generating opportunities will also help build a new school, which serves as a motivating force in her community. Mzubwa shares her success and encourages other farmers to adopt the improved agronomic practices. “If we can all apply these practices and work hard to achieve the growth that I have, we can transform agriculture in our village.”

There is no greater satisfaction than receiving a report of the success we have contributed to. Heartwarming stories like Mzubwa’s remind us of the co-operative principles upon which we were founded, the seventh of which is Concern for Community.

Gay Lea Foods is proud of the Foundation and its work to bring positive experiences to students and permanent change to families in remote areas of the world.

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