When it comes to their international service projects, the Rotary Club of Gibsons has a clear mandate: to provide a “hand up” and not a hand-out. This attitude was evident in the club’s most recent project that delivered 100 Survival Garden Kits to vulnerable women in South Africa.
The $20,000 raised by the club was supplemented with a $10,000 grant from the Rotary Foundation. As a result, 100 families now have the gardening tools, seedlings, fertilizer, and training to plant homestead gardens.
“The COVID pandemic has created another challenge in many developing countries,” said Lynne Geikie, club treasurer. “It’s a hunger pandemic; a shortage of food. These garden kits will help create food security for struggling families, not just immediately but for the long term as well.”
The kits were distributed in celebration of World Water Day, March 22. Central to the garden kits is the hippo water roller, an innovative tool that gives women an easier and more efficient way to transport water to their gardens. The hippo roller moves five times more water and with considerably less effort than the traditional method of carrying buckets on the head.
The Roll a Hippo Foundation and Gibsons Rotary launched the “Help Us Roll 1,000 Hippos” project on the Sunshine Coast in 2016. Since then they have fundraised and distributed nearly 1,000 hippo rollers to rural settlements in South Africa, and over 100 clubs from across Canada have donated to the project.