ROTA - Reach Out To Africa
Organic Farms Group has become affiliated to ROTA to implement the campaign in conjunction with Rotary clubs located in the Southern African region.
THE VISION OF ROTARY INTERNATIONAL--- REACH OUT TO AFRICA
Rotary plans to assist small farmers in Africa to grow food for themselves and the communities in which they live. This will provide nutrition as a solution to ill health, including HIV/aids. Sustainable farming would also provide jobs so that the workers can care for their families. Inevitably, the self esteem and independence derived would also solve many of society’s ills such as crime and poor education.
ROTA (Reach Out To Africa) would act as a catalyst to get things moving thereby motivating other donors and agencies to participate in the campaign. The plan is simple: growing vegetables is a basic exercise in planting seedlings with compost/plant food and water. The concept to be implemented currently provides that farmers are trained and mentored under the watchful eyes of graduates who are in turn mentored by experienced farmers in the region, over an appropriate period, to ensure that the skills and disciplines required are transferred to the farm leaders and workers themselves.
ROTA’s responsibility is targeting the elementary phase of this food production but it envisages that advanced farming and commercial outcomes should follow to ensure that small farmers are given the opportunity to participate in the mainstream economy. Accordingly, ROTA has engaged the services of implementers who understand the humble beginning that is necessary; all the while adopting a long range strategy to conduct the revolutionary change that would provide small farmers with a competitive platform, to perform professionally.
ROTA’s strategy is to implement its campaign through the network of Rotary clubs. The clubs would offer pledges of financial assistance, which will be focused on the initial development of key small farms at District Level. From these initial farms the outward expansion in the region, would be considerably simplified i.e. replication of a proven formula through adjacent management. This financial assistance would be coupled with funding raised from the public and private sectors as well. Each project will benefit considerably from the initiation and oversight that Rotary members will bring to bear, ensuring that funding and effort is indeed productive.
Bearing in mind the Rotary vision to revolutionise small scale agriculture through the inclusion of impoverished communities, the scope of the campaign should be recognised as basic in its application while vast in its geographic spread. This bold plan could only be adopted by an extensive organisation such as Rotary with its international image of integrity and concern for its fellow man; and its reputation for getting things done. Rotary has 32,000 clubs and 1.2 million members. This capacity will be brought to bear on the 14 districts of Africa. Rotary is familiar with campaigns which have global impact. Examples are the global eradication of polio and, more recently, in conjunction with the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation, a financial aid package of three hundred and fifty million US Dollars has been allocated to polio projects with Rotary.
Accordingly, Organic Farms Group has become affiliated to ROTA to implement the campaign in conjunction with Rotary clubs located in the Southern African region. Dedicated promotional material in the form of Power Point presentations from OFG is also available to interested parties upon request. Rota’s website is also available on the internet at www.reachouttoafrica.org.