Cassandra Rotolo 2016-09-27 10:54:32
Nearly 800 million people in the world do not have enough food to eat. The situation is most dire in developing countries, where one out of six children is underweight. The Venezia Host and Venezia Angelo Partecipazio Lions clubs in Italy teamed up with the Koudougou Baobab Lions Club in Burkina Faso and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to address food insecurity in several villages in the West African nation. The Italian Lions received an LCIF International Assistance grant (IAG) for US$54,267 to support the project. The Lions had two main objectives. The first was to form a field school to train rural women to use a drip irrigation system. Secondly, they would use that drip irrigation system to create a village vegetable garden. Women from nearby areas would be taught how to cultivate crops using the new system, as well how to use those crops to feed healthy meals to their families. Water storage towers, compost pits, a storage shed and fences played important roles in helping the project reach its goals. Drip irrigation is a low-water, low-pressure system that keeps plant roots moist. By applying water directly to plant roots rather than the surrounding soil, drip irrigation systems use less water than some other traditional systems. Drip irrigation is particularly beneficial where water sources are scarce. Lions got to work. They secured and cleared nearly 2. 5 acres of land. They dug a well with a solar pump and a storage tank and planted onions, other vegetables and fast-growing moringa trees. Once the crops were planted, Lions from both countries trained local women on using the drip irrigation system and tending to their gardens. The field school pilot program trained seven women from the Kyon District. It is expected that up to 60 women will be trained annually. The Lions hope that these women will grow enough excess food that they may start their own village market and sell their produce for a profit, leading to economic stability and independence. “We Lions are fighting poverty and securing food for women and children in rural Burkina Faso because malnutrition is widespread,” says Lion Giovanni Spaliviero of the Italian Lions Association, MK Onlus. “We hope these vegetable gardens will help to significantly improve the health and the living conditions of children and their families.” LCIF’s IAG program awards grants between US$5,000 and US$30,000 on a matching basis. IAGs enable Lions clubs in developed countries to partner with Lions clubs in less developed regions on projects that significantly impact entire communities. IAGs fund international assistance programs focused on basic health care, education and literacy, clean water and sanitation, rural development and self-sufficiency programs, services for people who are blind and otherwise disabled, and environmental protection. For information on how your district can apply for an IAG, visit lcif.org. Women tend their new village vegetable garden in Kyon, Burkina Faso.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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