The Lions Roar For Africa

26 Oct 2012

Representatives of Lions Clubs Italy had the opportunity to meet African coordinators of Slow Food’s Thousand Gardens in Africa project today at Salone Del Gusto and Terra Madre, where they presented the International Club’s commitment to adopt 200 participating community and school food gardens.

Gabriele Sabatosanti, president of Lions Clubs Italy Board spoke of the foundation’s goal to work in Africa in solidarity, putting their existing organizational structure to best use and complimenting the work of other associations.

“Our objectives are part of our larger project “Progetto Italia” which unites Italian Lions Clubs working in developing countries on health, education, eye care and water wells,” said Sabatosanti. “We are working in these countries to share and exchange skills and tools with the goal of supporting autonomy, rather than dependency.”

“When we heard about a thousand gardens we were really excited about the possibility for synergy between the projects,” said Gabriella Gastaldi, coordinator of the Lions Club’s fundraising for the gardens. The agreement to fund 200 gardens was activated in April this year, and funds have been raised for 25 gardens to-date. By the end of 2013 the goal is to have reached 200 communities committed to adopting Slow Food gardens, but the Lions’ support will focus initially in Burkina Faso, where they are already working with many communities.

Slow Food’s Ethiopian coordinator of the project, Roba Bulga Jilo, explained how the 40 gardens created across his country – including urban gardens and adapted to suit different climates and environments – have become very important educational centers. By spreading information on local varieties, seeds and sustainable agriculture they are a key tool to support food security. Moroccan coordinator Lhoussaine El Rhaffari emphasized that the project had been embraced in his country as a way to work with communities to preserve their biodiversity and cultural diversity, essential to preserving livelihoods.

The significant contribution from the Lions Clubs International will directly touch the lives of at least 5,000 people in several countries around the continent, and will extend to thousands more in the garden communities.

You can find the Lions Club at Salone Del Gusto and Terra Madre at Stand 6K in the Oval.

Click here for more information on a Thousand Gardens in Africa.

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