Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Eight people will leave for Africa soon to spend up to a month working with four Kenyan projects.

(Pictured back row l-r: Andrea Dube, Olivia Harvey, Danny Bondt front row l-r: Heather Angell, Dr. John van Leeuwen, Ken Mellish, Teresa Mellish Missing from photograph: Anna Portnoy)

Dr. John van Leeuwen from the Atlantic Veterinary College along with three 4-th year veterinary students will help the dairy farmers in the Wakulima Group as well as the Embu Group to improve the health of dairy cows and calves. They are taking donated veterinary pharmaceuticals for their work valued at $30,000. Anna Portnoy from Bonshaw, PE, Olivia Harvey, Petitcodiac, NB and Andrea Dube , Lake Echo, NS are all looking forward to their first visit to Africa. This is part of their veterinary training and this international rotation gives them experience working in a developing country while they help Kenyan farmers. They are receiving support from the Atlantic Veterinary College, Pfizer, Wyeth, Schering, Intervet as well as Vets Without Borders and the World Vet Congress Foundation.

Danny Bondt from Kingston is traveling to Kena for the first time. He plans to visit all four projects. As a semi-retired dairy farmer, he is looking forward to working with the dairy farmers in the Embu project and showing them how to get more milk from the cows by feeding them better.

Ken Mellish from New Perth has been to Kenya several times and he will be working with the dairy farmers at the Wakluima project to oversee the installation of a heat exchanger at the dairy plant. The exchanger will take the heat from the warm milk as it is cooled, to produce warm water to be used for the washing of milk cans. Clean milk cans contribute to improving the quality of the milk. Ken will also work with farmers to install bio-gas digesters which will use manure to produce bio-gas for fuel to cook food. He will also work with the Muchui women to identify drought-resistant crops which will grow better in the very dry area they live in.

Teresa Mellish from New Perth will be embarking on a new venture for Farmers Helping Farmers. She will be assessing the health of the members of the Muchui Womens Group. She is also taking necessary medical supplies valued at $11,000 to the hospital and clinic in the area they live in near Meru. These are donated by Health Partners International of Canada. In addition, she will work with the Ruuju women to develop a project. These women now support the project at the Ruuju Primary School in Marega where over 400 children are being provided with a school lunch using the vegetables they have grown on the school property with funds provided by Farmers Helping Farmers and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). She will also visit all the twinned schools and will be delivering the funds raised through a special Christmas promotion to Experience Kenya for Christmas.

Heather Angell from Grand Pre, NS will also be working with the group to evaluate the projects funded by Farmers Helping Farmers. This is required by CIDA which has matched the funds raised by Farmer Helping Farmers for these projects.

The group is looking forward to a huge change in Kenya. There has been a lot of rain since they visited last year- when the entire