The Learn◊Grow project is gaining increasing support around the world as its potential to address malnutrition in developing countries is recognised.
Dr Eileen Gentilcore, the Rotary International Coordinator for Health and Hunger said of the Learn◊Grow project: “Rotary Health and Hunger projects over the past few years have realised many wonderful steps towards solutions for world malnutrition. I find the most visionary among these is the Learn◊Grow project of Rotary District 9830.”
Dr Gentilcore also stated “Not only will nutritional food be more available, but those most at risk will have the DIGNITY of maintaining their own needs”.
The Learn◊Grow project is recognised and supported at the highest levels in Rotary. It has the strong endorsement of Rotary World Community Service (RAWCS) as an ideal project for its contribution towards the Millennium Development Goal No 1 – the reduction of extreme poverty throughout the developing world.
Learn Grow General Testimonials
“I congratulate Rotary District 9830 on the Learn Grow initiative. This program has....the potential to provide important information and resources which could complement and be integrated into existing Pacific crop production and sustainability programs. I am very supportive of this program and I applaud you for your initiative and commitment to the sustainable development of vulnerable countries such as those in the Pacific.”
Les Baxter, Research Program Manager, Horticulture and ACIAR Pacific Regional Coordinator
“Hunger and malnutrition are amongst the greatest of killers and every night millions of people go to bed hungry and malnourished. There is no one simple answer to eradicating hunger and its side effects, yet the most obvious answers are often overlooked due to a lack of knowledge.
Bruce French has addressed this need by building a huge database of edible plants from around the world that can lead to the use and cultivation of edible plants particularly suited to the local environment. Too often the obvious is overlooked and encouragement is given to use ‘fashionable’ crops that are not the best suited to the conditions, nor the greatest value in providing a healthy diet.
I commend Bruce for his work and wish him and all who are supporting him every success in encouraging the use of local resources that will improve health and diminish hunger. This is a significant humanitarian project which will save many lives and improve the quality of life for many more.”
Bill Boyd, Past President Rotary International 2006-2007
Solomon Islands Testimonials
“The recording and protection of this knowledge as a basis for rebuilding an appreciation of the importance of this nutritional and cultural inheritance and its conservation is, I believe, the most important contribution of B. Reg French’s Food Crops of Solomon Islands: A Compendium. B. Reg French’s book is an important gift to future Solomon Islanders, a very important and comprehensive attempt to record the diversity of the culinary mysteries and the diversity of indigenous and exotic plants that have been central to the life, health, economies and cultures of Solomon Islands for millennia. I sincerely congratulate him on this immense contribution to sustainable living and development in both Solomon Islands and the wider Pacific.”
Dr. Randy Thaman, Professor of Pacific Islands Biogeography, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji Islands, June 2010 (former Chairman, Fiji National Food and Nutrition Committee (1978-1986))
“I consider the Learn Grow program to be very, very important. People get more information by what they see. Pictures tell a lot more than words and the publications that Learn Grow has developed include many very good pictures of local food plants and how to grow them. These publications will give the people of my country access to very valuable information that they have never had access to before. I believe this work is very, very important and I strongly support it.”
Joini Tutua, Former member of Solomon Islands Parliament, Co-founder and chairman Kastom Gaden Association, Founder of Zai Na Tina Organic Research, 30 September 2009.
“The books will add value and complement our current AusAID funded ‘Strengthening Food Security & Rural Livelihood’ project. Essentially, we have been advocating about the richness of our local food crops and encouraging people to eat more of them to sustain a healthy life. The introduction of these books will further strengthen that focus.”
Clement Hadosaia, Kastom Garden Association
“The training materials will provide a beneficial impact for the development of the trainees and our centres. Never before has such reliable information been produced.
SIAVRTC would like to thank Rotary Australia for the valuable support.”
Billy Mae, Coordinator, SIAVRTC Office, Honiara, 26 April 2011
“I am very pleased that the Learn Grow project has started out well after the consultations with the number of organisations and government departments, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Health. I am impressed that the outcome has been so successful.
I have a lot of confidence that the materials are very useful and will make a lot of difference in the development of food security in Solomon Islands. With the education materials, children can take a lead in self sufficiency, with knowledge about the indigenous crops, food and plants that are available in the surrounding area.”
Lawrence Atu, 15 May 2011
“Vois is very grateful for the copies received so far. We have distributed them to women leaders in six provinces and look forward to some more. The general feedback from the women is overwhelming.
According to them, it is their first time to know that most of the edible plants are in their backyard but as flowers or hedges. (Now they know.) The other appealing thing is the composting method....it helps them to do a lot of backyard gardening, especially in the islands since most of our people are island dwellers.”
Vois, 17 May 2011
“l extend to you a word of thanks to the Learn Grow Project through the Rotary Club of Devonport North for the very valuable agricultural training materials donated to our training centres through the Rotary Honiara based office, in particular, the office of Mr Mark Johnston.
The support you provide to our institutions will contribute to the development of the country in terms of food security and the knowledge that the community can sustain their livelihood with the utilisation of their resources in a healthy sustainable way of living.”
Billy Mae, National Coordinator, SIAVRTC Office (SI), 12 May 2011