Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Food shortage? In Cape Town? What did you say?

This was my response upon reading the second mission given to us by Alchemy. For as long as I can remember (and for me, that's a lot) there's never been talk of a food shortage. Sure, we've had severe water restrictions, so much so that we had to cut short our two-minute showers, but not a food shortage...

That is, until I realised that the two, at least here, are inextricably linked. As IOL.com points out, South Africa expected (and got!) severe food shortages during one of its driest seasons EVER, the 2007/2008 summer. Why? Well, because our staple crop is maize.

Maize, or mielies, or corn, or whatever you may name it (we call them mielies here, pronounced mee-lees) provides the basic foodstuff of the majority of impoverished South Africans. I ate a mielie this evening, in fact, with my supper - but that's not how most South Africans see them. This is a picture of mieliepap:

as it is eaten here. Unfortunately, growing maize is a serious problem - even more so as a staple food - because it is very water-intensive, and that is a troublesome trait in a drought-ridden area like our country.

Looking for a solution, I discovered that a single man has started making a huge difference in several people's lives in the hardest-hit areas. Here's how:

One Way to Make a Personal Difference to Help Reduce World Food Shortages

In South Africa one ADRA horticulturist has developed his own system for growing simple gardens. The system is so easy to maintain, that even people confined to wheelchairs are growing their own gardens. The simple gardening and irrigation kit he created costs $25.00. This is just one example of how anyone can make a difference in the lives of people living on the other side of the world. This is so affordable that most people can become directly involved in helping to solve the world food shortage problem for one family. ADRA is also working on helping countries develop strains of crops that are resistant to disease. One great success story regarding this involves a mango farmer. At 78 years old, this farmer had no natural children of his own. He and his wife took in 14 orphans whose parents had died from AIDS. He said that ADRA had done so much for him that he felt he had to give back. ADRA works with countries, communities, and families to instill that everyone helping each other is the right way to live.

See what one person can do? My solution is a broader one, focusing on using what we have to get what we need. It will be posted as a video, to be found here:

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Sophie C. commented on Asger Jon Vistisen's blog post Stinging Nettle
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