News and Views

Thank You to RTO and OECTA for Literacy Grants

SHARE thanks Retired Teachers of Ontario for their Service to Others grant and OECTA, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association for grants for adult literacy. Two adult literacy circles for 2 women’s groups in Guatemala are funded with these grants. A local literate person is hired to teach the classes. Government curriculum is used and women will be certified at a primary level of education, learning skills to improve their lives.

FUNDRAISING EVENTS FOR 2013 – SHARE’s fund raising committee, the SHARE Board and many volunteers worked very hard on fund raising for 2013

Dinner Served by Copetown Lions Club – Thanks to Peter Lindley, his committee and the Copetown Lions for another successful SHARE fundraiser dinner and auction. A relaxing venue, good food, an entertaining auctioneer and an informative speech by Susan Leuty about her trip to SHARE project sites in Guatemala made for a wonderful evening. This dinner was initiated by long time SHARE promoters, Edna and (the late) John Yovanov. Thank you to all who attended to make this evening a success!

Annual Corn Roast for Teen Education - Thanks to the Thomson family for again hosting the Annual SHARE Corn Roast in Sept. 2013 on their beautiful dairy farm near Rockwood. Good food, good friends, and music by John Michael Green of Orangeville. Thanks to all of the donors who are helping to educate 46 youth in Belize high schools in this program. Isabelle Harmer who started this program, Ellen Thomson, volunteers and donors to this project believe that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

Justus Sings for SHARE – “Come On Get Happy!” Thank you to the vibrant chorus from Streetsville and their director Gary Clipperton for an enjoyable concert in Brampton in support of SHARE. Justus performed a diverse repertoire of music ranging from Gershwin to Diamond, Hollywood to Broadway, Inspirational to Gospel, and Rock to Pop with their customary emphasis on energy and enthusiasm.

Annual Golf Tournament – Another great year of golfing at the Guelph Lakes Golf and country Club! Thanks to all who attended, donated prizes and organized this event.

Wacky Card Night – This fun event again filled the Spirit Tree Estate Cidery at Boston Mills Road. A fabulous venue in the country for an evening of cards! A thank you to our hosts!

Annual Perennial Plant Sale – Tables full of perennials donated by SHARE supporters were snapped up in Cheltenham. Thank you to the Cheltenham General Store for providing a space for this plant sale.

Annual Delphinium Festival – Thank you to our hosts at Plant Paradise County Gardens in Caledon.

Annual Dinner Dance - Friends and good food. A lively auction and tables full of interesting items for silent bidding. SHARE appreciates all those who buy dinner tickets, all the who donate to our auctions, the hard working volunteers who make this annual event successful.

Thank You to Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir and Eden Bells aPeel

SHARE would like to thank the Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir and the Eden Bells aPeel for their talents and efforts in presenting a concert at St. Paul’s United Church, Brampton on November 25 in support of SHARE’s projects. The large audience enjoyed the varied repertoire of spirituals, folk songs, Broadway show tunes and traditional hymns and songs born of the mountains and valleys of Wales performed by the TWMVC under the direction of William Woloschuk. The Eden Bells aPeel of Eden United Church conducted by Richard Cunningham performed several pieces of bell music at the concert. Many thanks to all who made this memorable concert possible!

Toronto Welsh Male Choir

Country Corn Roast for High School Scholarship

Thanks to our hosts Ellen and Ray Thomson and all the volunteers for an enjoyable day “down on the farm” near Rockwood Ontario early in September. The local corn was delicious and the butter tarts were pretty good too; the hay ride was fun and the cows contentedly chewed their cud and did what they do best as visitors snuck into the barn for a peek. SHARE thanks all who donated to the SHARE scholarship fund which is supporting 45 rural students at high schools in Belize.

Caledon West Rotary Club Supports SHARE Water Filter Program

In September, a small group of dedicated Rotarians who make up the Caldeon West Rotary partnered with Theatre Unlimited, Mississauga and presented two fun filled nights at Alloa Public School in Caledon in a presentation called SHARE on Broadway. Funds were raised to support a clean water project with SHARE and Brazos Amorosos in Guatemalan communities providing water filters for homes and schools. (To read about the SHARE water filter project see the May 2012 newsletter.) Fergus Rotary Club will also donate to this important project.

S.H.A.R.E. Fund Raising Committee Hard At Work in 2012

Supported by family and friends, our SHARE Board and committee members, the SHARE fund-raising committee organized some outstanding events in 2012. The Annual Golf Tournament, the Wacky Card Night, the Corn Roast, the Dinner Dance and the Plant Sale were annual events that raised money for SHARE projects. Thank you to the hard-working fund raising committee, all volunteers and of course our donors who made the events fun and successful.

SHARE’s New CIDA Project

CIDA, the Canadian International Development Agency, Canada's lead agency for development assistance will partner with SHARE in a new project that will work to alleviate poverty in 95 rural communities in El Salvador and Honduras. The project will use a multi pronged approach to reduce poverty and improve the lives of over 11, 620 men, women and children. Families will be assisted by agriculture extension technicians to produce a variety of agriculture products to improve their families’ nutrition and to sell in small local markets; farming inputs such as seeds, cuttings, chickens, irrigation equipment and tools will be provided. Adult literacy lessons will be provided in local communities for men, women and youth. Reading and math, knowledge of family health, the environment and practical life skills are included in the curriculum. Vocational training will prepare youth to work in small community based enterprises that will supplement farm family income. Barriers to women’s participation will be removed by building improved stoves that reduce wood gathering and remove harmful indoor smoke. 

All funds raised by SHARE for this three year project will be matched 3 to 1 with CIDA funds.

Can You Meet The Mark Cullen Challenge?

Mark Cullen, SHARE’s patron, challenges SHARE to raise ‘new funds’ from existing donors and new donors.  He will match any newly pledged donations to a maximum of $10,000 each year for the next 5 years. Mark’s challenge will enable SHARE to assist more rural families, to plan longer term projects and to fund our share of the new CIDA project. 

$10,000 of donors’ newly pledged funds, matched by $10,000 from Mark and Mary Cullen and then multiplied by CIDA’s 3 to 1 matched funding will result in $80,000 each year for the new CIDA project! 

Indicate your pledge by sending a note to SHARE.

Thank You Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario

Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario ( presented SHARE with a generous donation at the JFAO annual March conference and meeting in Peterborough. Over 25 affiliated Junior Farmers’ clubs across Ontario worked to fundraise for this donation. “This is a lot of funds to raise and will be greatly appreciated by those who receive SHARE’s support,” commented Murray Brownridge, chair of the SHARE Board of Directors as he thanked the membership for their generosity.

The partnership between SHARE and JFAO resulted in an awareness trip with 7 of the Junior Farmers’ membership to rural communities and farming enterprises in Belize and Guatemala. “I hoped to gain insights from this trip,” said Claire Bunnik of the Junior Farmers’ executive, “and I did! I saw how farm families and rural communities struggle and excel in the agriculture industry and how SHARE can help by providing a ‘hand up’ working with the community to provide what they can use, what they ask for and are comfortable with to drive income.”

Rachel Haney appreciated the broiler project and capacity building projects in a remote Mayan village in Guatemala. “Capacity building allows communities to preserve what is important to them,” said Rachel. Krista McAvoy noted that the new SHARE stoves that replace the hazardous open cooking fires are not a free gift to the rural families. She liked the fact that the families were required to plant, water and grow 250 tree seedlings as part of the project.

Krista McAvoy, Murray Brownridge, Camille Black and Les Frayne hold the BIG cheque, a generous donation from the Junior Farmers' Association of Ontario. Junior Farmers visited a remote Mayan community in Guatemala to visit the stove, chicken and reforestation SHARE project managed by the young Mayan organization, APROSARSTUN.

Hugh Beaty inducted into Milton Hall of Fame

Friends and family gathered recently at the Milton Town Hall to participate in this memorable ceremony sponsored by the Town of Milton and the Milton Historical Society.

Mayor Gordon Krantz presented Hugh with a plaque and then on to the Walk of Fame where they unveiled the dedication to Hugh and the late Melba Beaty for their contribution to SHARE and the Community of Milton.

When SHARE was founded, the first project entailed sending a herd of Holstein cattle to the University of Mossoro in N.E. Brazil. Hugh and Melba sold their own herd and went to Brazil with the cattle and for 2 years supervised the husbandry and establishment of the dairy herd.

Mayor Krantz, Milton Historical Society President, Jan Mowbray and Hugh Beaty

Hugh at the walk of fame!

International Development Week February 5 - 11

When disaster strikes at home or around the world Canadians respond. However, every day many Canadians work as global citizens to make this world a better place. These Canadians care about the well-being of others, donating time and money to those less fortunate all around the world. To celebrate this international work the Canadian government has designated February 5th to 11th as International Development Week.

The S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation is one local volunteer organization that has been committed to development work, supporting impoverished farm communities, primarily in Central and South America since 1976. ( SHARE was founded by area farmers in Peel and Halton Counties who decided to share their good fortune in living and farming in our prosperous country by responding to world hunger by sharing their valuable Holstein cattle. The late David Armstrong and his brother Neil and several well known local farmers founded SHARE, Sending Help and Resources Everywhere. For SHARE’s first project registered 38 Holstein heifers and 3 bulls were donated or purchased with donations and sent by plane to South America. Hugh and Melba Beaty, retired from their dairy farm near Milton and lived in Brazil for 2 years to train local herdsmen and ensure success. In the subsequent 36 years SHARE has given a ‘hand up, not a hand out’ to help thousands of people to help themselves.

The devotion of the original founders and all subsequent volunteers with the foundation attests to the gratification that this development work brings. At over 90 years old Hugh Beaty is still actively involved in SHARE work; David Armstrong was a valued advisor until his death this past fall and Joe Gray, founding member, has been the foundation treasurer for years. Many other men and women from this area have donated time and funds to the work of SHARE.

Since those early times, hundreds of agriculture projects have benefited small scale farm families in Africa, Cambodia, the Caribbean, South and Central America. Seeds, cattle, goats, chickens, sheep, tools, wells and irrigation equipment have been funded. Thousands of men and women farmers have been trained in appropriate farming techniques for the local conditions. Many of SHARE’s projects have been augmented by CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) funding. More recently, responding to local needs, SHARE has funded smoke free cooking stoves for rural women in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, adult literacy, youth vocational training and small rural enterprises such as sewing centres and bakeries. A high school scholarship program in Belize has given dozens of rural youth an opportunity to attend high school.

Donors to SHARE know that a little goes a long way to bring hope to the underprivileged of developing countries. SHARE volunteers prove that you are never too old or too young to be a global citizen and not just on International Development Week.

Successful Monitoring Trip Completed to Guatemala

Les Frayne, project manager and Murray Brownridge, chair of the Board of Directors of SHARE recently completed a monitoring trip to several communities in Guatemala to visit project sites. Both reported that it was gratifying to see these successful projects that have resulted from the SHARE fund raising, research and planning with hard working partner Brazos Amorosos (Loving Arms):

  • A shade green house is being successfully managed cooperatively by a group of women who are selling the vegetable produce to restaurants.
  • Each of the beneficiaries of the new stoves that have been built in several communities in the most needy homes report less eye irritation, fewer coughs, less wood gathering and more time for their farming. (Read about the dangers of indoor cooking fires)
  • The sewing lessons are very popular with women creating products to sell.
  • Women receiving literacy lessons are now tutoring others and are hoping SHARE will fund another year of lessons.
  • The new initiative, building bio sand water filters, is proving to be life-changing. Women are reporting that their children are healthier with none of the cramps they frequently experienced before. Families are benefiting from the good health this water filter is bringing.

There is a long waiting list for the healthier, wood saving stoves and the bio sand water filters.

Recent news from Guatemala reveals that the family pig project, that was doing well, has suffered losses from swine flu.

During this monitoring trip SHARE and Brazos Amorosos were able to facilitate training for men and women from other Guatemalan villages, showing them these successful initiatives and providing training for stove building, putting in practice our organization’s “pass on principle”.

Projects in the highlands of Guatemala:

Disaster in El Salvador - Can you help?

Ten days of continuous rain in mid October, 2011 caused catastrophic damage to communities in El Salvador where SHARE has agriculture projects. Families, who had very little, lost their humble homes, possessions and crops to torrential rains, flooding and landslides. SHARE was quick to send funds for immediate support (water, food, medicine and plastic for shelter). It will be important to help in the weeks to come to re-establish crops to feed these families. Recent reports show that 100% of the bean crops were lost and 70% of the corn crop; these crops are the basis of family food and income so the situation is very serious for hundreds of families.

Mrs. Marta Elena Mendoza, a young mother wrote, “We were happy because the crops were good, the corn was bent and close to harvest, the beans were beginning to flower. I had my household garden and my chickens. It was our hope to move ahead in life. The beans are ruined now, and the home garden destroyed. We do not know what to do. My husband and I mourn when we see that we have nothing. I have confidence that God will help me move forward with my little baby but it’s hard to live like this”.

Please help us support our southern partner who is assisting the affected communities during this disaster.

Click to open Hyperlink to hear Bill Clinton talk about this disaster:

Successful SHARE Corn Roast – Scholarship Fund for Rural Teens

Fabulous weather, delicious food, good entertainment, beautiful, relaxed country setting, many friends and generous donors.
Another successful SHARE corn roast!

A big thanks to the Harmer family, to all donors and all volunteers.


Lions Club Donates Eye Glasses for S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation’s Adult Literacy Program

After several men and women thanked SHARE for providing a literacy circle in their community in El Salvador, one woman spoke up.  “I can read signs and directions when I go to town now.  I no longer have the shame of putting an X on documents when I go to offices.  I want to thank SHARE for the opportunity to learn to read even at my age.  But I have a request. Would you be able to get me some reading glasses?” Maria asked. “It is hard to see the words on the pages because I need glasses.” 
Glasses are simply not affordable for the rural poor in these communities so it was true that these youth, men and women who are learning to read did not have the glasses they needed. 
A generous donation of 750 reading glasses from the Lions Club Canadian Recycle for Sight program will provide reading glasses to Maria and many more men and women in SHARE literacy circles In El Salvador and Honduras . Thank you to the Lions Clubs and all their donors and volunteers for making this possible.


Water Filter Program in Guatemala – Connecting Partners in Canada, U.S. and Guatemala

It sometimes takes a lot of partnering to get a development project started.  Internet research, many emails, hours of volunteer efforts and collaborations can bring like-minded organizations together to make good things happen.

This is what happened recently in Guatemala to start a new project to provide clean water to impoverished families. When Loving Arms of Oakville, a SHARE partner working in 3 Guatemalan villages, found that the water being used by village families was contaminated and was making the children and adults sick, SHARE Project Manager decided to look for simple low cost solutions being successfully used in developing countries. Some internet research by an SHARE volunteer, resulted in a connection to a Canadian organization of engineers in Alberta (CAWST) and their work at a technology training centre in Guatemala.  A cost effective solution recommended was the simple bio sand water filter. The SHARE Board of Directors agreed to fund further research and then training for the Loving Arms team in Guatemala to learn about construction and use of the bio sand water filter systems.  Another connection with a charity in the U.S. resulted in 15 new water filters being built in the Guatemalan villages.

A successful collaboration of many volunteers from 5 organizations from 3 countries has resulted in Guatemalan families having access to clean water and better health.



Poverty and the International Food Crisis in Central America

“Imagine living on  $1.25 a day and spending $ .85 of that on food for your family.”

According to the World Bank, “Central America is one of the hardest hit regions in the international food crisis. The price of rice, beans, sugar and other commodities has drastically gone up. Many families cannot afford nutritious food anymore. The impact is dramatic in particular for children.”

SHARE’s projects in Guatemala and El Salvador provide inputs and training for impoverished families to improve their family’s food production. Eggs, chickens and small vegetable gardens help to diversify family diets and add much needed nutrition to basic limited family diets of corn tortillas and beans.

You can view videos created by the World Bank on the current food crisis.
Rising Food Prices – Nearly One Billion Go To Bed Hungry
Food Crisis Hits El Salvador
Food Crisis Hits Guatemala

SHARE Supporters see Results in Central America

By Dianne Cornish. As it appeared in the Flamborough Review
April 14, 2011

A recent trip to Belize and Guatemala has opened the eyes and touched the hearts of Jane Collins of Rockton and Peter Lindley of Ancaster. Both supporters of the SHARE (Sending Help and Resources Everywhere) Agriculture Foundation visited the two countries a little over two months ago to get a firsthand look at how the non-profit organization provides assistance to impoverished rural communities in Central America. They were part of an eight-member team on the awareness tour, which focused on two programs supported by SHARE: providing scholarships for high school students so they can continue to attend school and supporting a cooking stove project that helps improve family health in Central American rural communities.


Seeing the people who benefit from the group’s programs made all the difference to Collins and Lindley. They visited about a half-dozen schools, mostly in Belize, where SHARE scholarships are helping young boys and girls continue their education beyond the government-funded primary grades. Once the students complete their primary schooling, tuition is required to continue their education. In many cases, they cannot afford the high school fees and are forced to leave school.
Recognizing that a student with a high school education is more employable and that their success will help break the cycle of poverty for their families, SHARE provides $350 scholarships to cover the tuition fees; last year, the organization supported 56 rural students in Belize.

At a high school in Santa Elena, Collins and Lindley met with some of the scholarship recipients. Collins was struck by the ambitions of four female students who she met; two wanted to be doctors, another was aspiring to be an accountant and the fourth student wanted to be a teacher.

Lindley was heartened to learn how children are prepared to travel several miles to school, often on foot or by boat, and sometimes crossing borders to continue their education. He met a young man named Martin, a high school graduate now working in a television station in Belize, who recognized SHARE project manager Les Frayne in the touring group, warmly greeting him while updating him with information and renewing long-held ties of friendship.

“All of the young kids try to get into Belize to go to school so they can learn English,” said Lindley. During a visit to a high school in Trinidad, Belize, the retired Ancaster farmer noticed a nearby plot of land that had been planted by students. He saw an unusual spiked variety of cabbage being grown and has decided to send some seed for round cabbage to the area to see if it will thrive there.

For Collins, who also has an agricultural background, the school scholarships were the most uplifting part of the visit. She enjoyed meeting the students and learning of their career goals. She also brought back memories of an eventful, somewhat rocky, ride from Punta Gorda, Belize to nearby Guatemala in a 35-foot open boat powered by three 200-horsepower motors, a hearty chicken soup that she ate with spoon and fork and multi-coloured, hand-woven Mayan skirts with no waistbands that she would like to duplicate and add to her wardrobe.

Agriculture and Improved Cooking Stoves

Lindley said his interest was piqued by the crops being grown in Belize and Guatemala and by the cooking stove project that makes such a difference in the lives of the women in rural villages. A research farm near the Santa Elena high school grew bananas, pineapple and plantain trees while using trickle irrigation and modern transplantation techniques. Also, 35 of 60 dwelling units in Plan Grande, Guatemala, had been equipped by SHARE with cooking stoves costing about $200 each to install. At a gathering in the village’s community centre, women told the Canadian visitors how pleased they are with their new stoves featuring pipes that fit through their thatched roofs so that smoke can be vented outside.
“Local people build them, construct them and do the steel work on them,” said Lindley while discussing their popularity and the spin-off jobs that the project creates.

The school scholarship and cooking stove projects, like the many crop and livestock programs supported by SHARE, all support the group’s aim of helping impoverished countries to become self-sustaining through a ‘hand up’ rather than ‘handout.’ The organization, with supporting funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), supports agricultural programs in Brazil, El Salvador, Belize and Guatemala.

To help support the projects, a fundraising banquet is held at the Copetown Lions Community Centre every spring. Founded by former Westover residents, Edna Yovanov and her late husband, John, the banquet is well attended and supported by Flamborough and area residents.

From special to the Flamborough Review by Daniel Ho: Farmers Happy to SHARE Resources, Copetown Dinner Boosts Agriculture Projects.

Event organizer Peter Lindley estimated that this year’s event, attended by 220 people, raised between $6,000 and $7,000 for the organization. Auctioneer Jim McCartney helped with the auction, which doubled as the night’s entertainment. He also won the 50/50 draw, but took only $10 out of the $575 and donated the rest back to SHARE.” 

Pictured: SHARE supporters see the results of SHARE's projects on the 2011 Belize/Guatemalan awareness tour. Meeting the people involved with SHARE's work was the highlight of the trip for the supporters.




Building Leaders. Building Communities

Katie Savage, SHARE volunteer, Craig Lonsdale, SHARE Director, and Justin Williams (on the right) from the Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario at the JFAO annual March conference and meeting in London, Ontario where SHARE was voted by members as the Provincial Charity for 2011.

The Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario has selected SHARE to be their Provincial Charity for 2011. Over 25 affiliated Junior Farmers’ clubs across Ontario will champion a SHARE agriculture project for their fund raising efforts and SHARE will promote the JFAO and help to develop their theme for the year “Around the World: Imagine the Possibilities.” SHARE Director, Craig Lonsdale, former Junior Farmer, noted that the two organizations have common purposes  -  “building future rural leaders through self help and working for better rural communities.” In her presentation to the 80 Junior Farmers on the decision-making panel, Katie Savage explained that, “SHARE supports men, women and rural youth in developing countries by providing inputs, extension training for small agriculture projects and education to strengthen farm families and communities.”  The Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario believes that “farmers hold a unique and important role in shaping the future of Ontario” and now, by partnering with SHARE, the Junior Farmers will positively impact the lives of the rural poor in a developing country as they play a role in Canada’s development work. (See

“Pass On Principal” Means Giving Back in Guatemala

Eight new S.H.A.R.E. stoves were completed in Guatemala just in time to help with an admirable act of generosity.

In May 2010, Hurricane Agatha brought devastation to farm families living in the highlands of western Guatemala causing mudslides that covered villages and damaged the crops growing on the small hillside farms. The villagers of Parrojas responded with an incredible act of giving back. Grateful for the ongoing assistance that they are receiving from Canadians, the villagers of Parrojas made 5,000 tortillas (some cooked on their new S.H.A.R.E. stoves), 1,500 tomales, beans and juice and delivered the food to 400 people in five neighbouring villages, assisting people who were even more severely affected by the storm. Even though the Parrojas families lost their own corn crops and will be short of their families’ staple food before Christmas, they knew that there were other families in shelters, without government assistance, who needed immediate help and so they responded.

This is a heartwarming testament to the work done by S.H.A.R.E.’s partner in this area of Guatemala.  S.H.A.R.E. is providing funds for adult literacy, stoves, and small sustainable agriculture projects in Parrajas and 2 other farming communities nhancing the social assistance programs of Loving Arms, the small Canadian foundation.

Growing for S.H.A.R.E. – The 12th Annual Plant Sale at Cheltenham

The 12th annual S.H.A.R.E. plant sale held recently in the community of Cheltenham was a resounding success raising approximately $1,650 for S.H.A.R.E.’s projects in rural communities in Central and South America. Local gardeners and generous local nursery businesses donated the much sought after, hardy plants. This year’s organizers are following the 12-year efforts of the Sharing Hands group who initiated this fund-raiser 12 years ago. This year a bake table with many delicious goodies was added. A big THANK YOU goes to all the donors, the volunteers, hostess Bark Rank and to the businesses that donated the plants to keep S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation growing.

Justus Concert for S.H.A.R.E.

S.H.A.R.E. would like to thank the Justus Choir (Streetsville Musicorp Inc.) who recently presented an evening of song in their trademark energetic and enthusiastic fashion – all in support of S.H.A.R.E.’s work. The choir passionately performed their diverse repertoire of music that ranged from Gershwin to Diamond, with favorites from Hollywood and Broadway, rock, pop and gospel and much more for an appreciative audience at Streetsville United Church, Mississauga. The “not so typical choral group” was accompanied by the Justus Band and sang under the talented leadership of artistic and music director Gary Clipperton.  The evening truly reflected the choir’s slogan, “We are Justus and we sing the songs!”  All funds raised at this concert will be matched 3 to 1 with funds from CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) for S.H.A.R.E.’s major ongoing project work. Thank you Justus!

(Photo by Steve Der-Garabedian,

15th Copetown Lions Club Dinner for SHARE

Thanks to the work of friends and family of the late John Yovanov, Peter Lindley and members of the Copetown Lions Club, a successful fundraising dinner raised funds for SHARE’s projects in Central and South America. This dinner, attended by over 150 people, was the 15th annual event for SHARE that the club has sponsored with free room rental, ticket sales and more recently catering work by the members.

John and Edna Yovanov initiated the fundraiser to support SHARE’s development work following their participation on a SHARE awareness tour of Belize to view projects with rural refugee farmers.

SHARE would like to thank all who attended and donated to the event. All donations from this event will be matched with 3 to 1 funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for SHARE’s major projects.

Remarks about SHARE in the Canadian Senate

These are the remarks of the Honorable Lorna Milne, now retired Canadian Senator, in the Canadian Senate on December 1, 2009.

“Honourable senators, last month, I had the privilege of attending the annual S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation dinner. I wish to take this opportunity to update you on new developments in the work of this very important farmer-based organization.

For those unfamiliar with it, SHARE stands for Sending Help and Resources Everywhere. It is an effective rural Canadian non-profit organization working with partners, including CIDA, that provides funding and guidance to community-based agricultural projects in Third World countries with a focus on Central and South America. Their motto is a hand up, not a hand out.

SHARE’s projects are in the poorest and most isolated communities. These communities are often made up of refugees who have left their home areas due to war and poverty. SHARE chooses communities where the projects will have the greatest impact.

SHARE director, Trish Murphy, delivered a powerful speech at the event entitled “The People at the End of the Road - Reflections on El Salvador.” In describing the poor and displaced people at the end of the dirt roads that SHARE encounters, Ms. Murphy illustrated the projects they are currently working on. The stoves project replaces old stoves that filled rooms with smoke, causing health and environmental hazards, with new, healthier and more efficient stoves. Other ongoing projects include high school scholarships for children in Belize, training and education in rural communities in Guatemala, teen and adult literacy programs for 800 adults in rural communities in El Salvador, and micro-credit programs for agricultural enterprises throughout Central and South America, such as chickens and egg farms, cattle farms and apiaries.

I commend SHARE for the tremendous contributions it has made in helping to improve the quality of life since 1976 for those people at the ends of the roads. I wish them much future success in traveling the isolated dirt pathways ahead to spread opportunities and resources to others waiting at the dead ends of these muddy roads.”

Haiti Relief Fund

A recent motion by the Board of Directors of SHARE approved up to $20,000 of aid to Haiti for rebuilding agricultural projects in partnership with NGO’s with whom SHARE has worked with in the past.

Donations to this fund can be made through our web site, click on Canada Helps or through our office at:- 1-905-838-0897 or 1-888-337-4273

Cheques can also be mailed to:
Share Agriculture Foundation,
14110 Kennedy Road,
Caledon, ON.  L7C 2G3 

Belize Study Tours

Ridgetown Campus and the University of Guelph offer students study tours of the small, Central American country of Belize. Students develop an understanding of agriculture in a tropical, developing country and traditional methods of agriculture in the Mayan culture as well as have many opportunities to meet the people of the country. In their travels the Canadian students visit some SHARE supported agriculture projects and meet SHARE high school scholarship students.

You can read about the students' adventures at these sites"
Ridgetown Campus Blog
Belize Study Tours

David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon Congratulates S.H.A.R.E.

In a letter read at the S.H.A.R.E. annual dinner/dance fundraiser in November 2009, David Tilson congratulated the organization “for its continued commitment to helping communities help themselves.  This unyielding commitment to healthy and strong communities abroad is truly reflective of the generous and supportive community spirit found right here at home and by everyone in this room tonight”. 

David’s letter went on to say; “Since its early beginnings in 1976, S.H.A.R.E. has helped improve the lives of many in South America, the Caribbean, Central America, and Africa through innovative agricultural projects.  The work performed by S.H.A.R.E.’s volunteers is commendable and your efforts are truly appreciated.”

David also congratulated S.H.A.R.E. on the approval of the third CIDA project begun in El Salvador in July 2009. “Our Government is pleased to continue our support of SHARE in its work.”

SHARE Patron and CBC farm commentator Dr. George Atkins died early Monday, November 30th, 2009 in Wiarton, Ontario at the age of 92.

A graduate of the Ontario Agricultural College and a farmer himself, George Atkins was CBC's farm and gardening host in the 1950s and '60s.  He was best known, however, for founding and cultivating Farm Radio International. The network, which collects and distributes rural small-scale farming advice for broadcast in developing countries around the world, blossomed from an idea he had during a trip to Zambia in 1975.

George was an early and ongoing promoter of SHARE through his radio shows and his many farming community contacts.  Over the years, he directly supported many of our projects and influenced others to become deeply involved with SHARE .
Known as "the commentator with the smile in his voice," his contributions to SHARE and Farm Radio International to improve the lives of countless individuals are a true inspiration to us all.  A great man; he will be missed greatly.

An article in the Owen Sound Sun Times last year describes some of his many accomplishments:

S.H.A.R.E. Student Wins University Scholarship to Taiwanese University.

Never in her most ambitious dreams for the scholarship program that she initiated would Isabelle Harmer have imagined the good news!  It was very exciting to hear that one of the SHARE scholarship students received a 4 year university scholarship from a Taiwanese university.  Marvin Ruano, from Indian Church Village in Belize, is presently studying Business Administration in Taiwan on full scholarship.

Marvin commented in an email,   “I am going to try my best to overcome any challenges and succeed in life with a higher education.  I am excited to go and experience a new world.”  Congratulations to Marvin for his hard work and best wishes for success in this exciting new challenge.

11th Annual Corn Roast for Scholarship Fund

Friends and supporters of the S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation Belize scholarship fund attended the annual corn roast on the Harmer farm enjoying the beautiful setting, the food and music. For 11 years the Harmer family have hosted the corn roast to raise funds to pay high school tuition fees for teens from rural areas in Belize. Thanks to the continuing generous support of donors, SHARE will support 58 high school students this year.

SHARE's First Project in Bolivia

In the Andean highlands of Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in South America, SHARE has started a new project to provide a well and irrigation system for small scale farmers growing the traditional, high protein grain crops of quinoa and cañawa.  In this project, year round irrigation water from the shallow dug well will improve the diets, crop yields and incomes of 80 farming families.

SHARE is committed to seeking out impoverished communities within countries of greatest need.  Even though Bolivia is a country of great natural and cultural beauty, with snow-capped mountains, lush rainforest and rich resources there is wide- spread poverty, especially among rural communities.  Bolivia has struggled with an unsettled political past and continuing social unrest. There are thousands of landless families waiting for settlements in the country's land reform system. A high percentage of rural families in Bolivia live on less than $2/day with little access to health care and with a high infant mortality rate.  Education in rural areas is substandard and farmers struggle to feed their families by growing food at unbelievably high altitudes with soils that are increasingly infertile.

SHARE's irrigation project will bring positive changes to one lakeside farming community in the Andes Mountains, helping to maintain traditional knowledge and crops in food

An Ambassador Visits - S.H.A.R.E. Partners for Results

Sometimes impoverished rural communities where SHARE works need inputs that are difficult for SHARE to provide.  This was the case recently when a long time partner working in rural El Salvador asked for help to provide vocational training and education on computers for their youth.  They said hundreds of rural youth have no access to education beyond SHARE’s elementary level (grade 6) literacy circles.  The youth needed and wanted more training, more education and a future.

Using the miracle of the internet, SHARE was able to find a partner, a Taiwanese organization to deliver 40 computers for two small training centres.

This partnering has brought new possibilities for the small community of 150 displaced families in Comunidad SHARE, the site of one training centre.  Recently, the Taiwanese ambassador to El Salvador arrived to officially open the SHARE supported training centre bringing gifts and greetings to the families.

As a result of this and other partnerships, SHARE has seen a very needy community receive resources and support, providing a "hand up" to self-sufficiency. (See the  May 2008 Newsletter p.3 on the web site,  SHARE Supports the Building of a New Community in El Salvador, and the November 2008 for More Partnering for Results p.2 to read about Comunidad SHARE.)

10th annual SHARE Golf Tournament

104 golfers recently took part in the 10th annual SHARE Golf Tournament at the Guelph Lakes Golf and Country Club. Participants enjoyed a beautiful day and the course was in excellent condition. After the game, players enjoyed a Steak dinner and Carlo Cordi baked, decorated and donated a beautiful cake to celebrate our 10th anniversary. SHARE appreciates the loyalty of our golf supporters many of whom have been with us since the beginning.

John, Carlo and Hume cut the cake celebrating our 10th Tournament

Happy winners at our 10th.

Copetown Lions Club Dinner for SHARE

Thanks to the work of John Yovanov, Peter Lindley and members of the Copetown Lions Club a successful fundraising dinner raised over $5,000 for SHARE’s projects. This dinner, attended by over 200 people, was the 14th annual event for SHARE that the club has sponsored with free room rental, ticket sales and more recently catering work by the members.
John and Edna Yovanov initiated the fundraiser to support SHARE’s development work following their participation on a SHARE awareness tour of Belize to view projects with rural refugee farmers.

SHARE would like to thank all who attended and donated to the event.  All donations from this event will be matched with 3 to 1 funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for SHARE’s major projects.

SHARE Announces a Third CIDA Project

SHARE will raise funds to partner with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) on a third project.  CIDA will provide 3 dollars to each dollar raised by SHARE for this project in the next 2 years.  Agriculture training and information will be provided to rural communities in El Salvador that lack access to resources and information.  This project will also provide vocational training and opportunities for further education for rural youth and adults in 2 computer-training centres and in small resource centres in 20 rural communities.  Agriculture staff will provide training materials via computers and in print for farmers in their communities on diversification of production, knowledge of animal husbandry, horticulture, apiculture, social, health and family issues.  Hundreds of farm families will be reached through this training and information project in the next 2 years.

This project, along with SHARE’s ongoing literacy and agriculture training work, will have a great impact on impoverished rural communities in El Salvador.  

MP Tilson Congratulates S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation for CIDA Funding Approval

David Tilson, Member of Parliament for Dufferin-Caledon, congratulated the S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation, a local non-profit charity, at the organization’s  annual dinner and dance in Brampton for qualifying to receive funds from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for agricultural and literacy project work in Central and South America.

Mr Tilson told the crowd that S.H.A.R.E. will partner with CIDA and reliable southern partners to give ‘a hand up’ to disadvantaged rural peasants in Brazil and El Salvador for agricultural training, family garden inputs, and literacy.  Over 32,000 men and women in over 60 communities will benefit from this international development work over the next 3 years.
Funds raised by the S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation for this work in the next 3 years will be matched with 3 to1 funding from CIDA.  Benefits of this work will be multiplied many times over using the S.H.A.R.E. foundation’s  ‘pass on principle’ whereby those helped will assist others in their communities.

CIDA works through ordinary Canadians and donors such as the volunteers of S.H.A.R.E. to provide assistance to reduce poverty and improve lives in developing countries around the world.

“S.H.A.R.E. would like to thank CIDA for their generous support.  Together CIDA and S.H.A.R.E. will be able to bring many families out of abject poverty to self-sufficiency making a real difference in many disadvantaged communities,” commented prominent Mayfield area dairy farmer, David Armstrong, one of the original founders of the foundation.

Retired Teachers of Ontario ‘Service to Others’ Award for S.H.A.R.E.’s Literacy Circles in El Salvador

After spending a life time of work in schools in Wellington County and across Ontario retired teachers stay interested in their passion for education by supporting literacy efforts in Ontario and around the world through the Service to Others initiative funded by the provincial Retired Teachers of Ontario (RTO/ERO). $100,000 worth of grants were awarded to charitable organizations this year.

Simon Leibovitz, representing the provincial RTO organization, and Marina Howlett, president of the retired teachers of Wellington District 31 presented a cheque for $3,860 for adult and teen literacy in El Salvador to Marg Frayne of the S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation.

Marg, a retired teacher from the Fergus and Guelph area schools, accepted the funds explaining that these funds provide a valuable gift of hope and literacy for over 135 families in rural El Salvador.
These families were displaced by Hurricane Stan and the Santa Ana volcanic eruption that followed in October 2005.  These rural Salvadorans, who are being assisted to settle on new land by the S.H.A.R.E. Agriculture Foundation, never had the opportunity to attend school because of poverty, displacement during the country’s civil war, inequities in their society and distances from schools. 

The funds will pay salaries for 2 teachers for a year and teaching materials.  The curriculum that has been funded will include health, family, gender and environment issues while giving accreditation that will provide opportunities for employment.  The RTO  literacy circles meet under the trees among the black plastic and cardboard shacks in the new community, Comunidad SHARE,  for 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. The young teacher has attained grade 9 education but wishes to continue her education as well.  SHARE will continue these literacy circles for at least 3 years hoping to accredit many people with elementary education that will provide job entry opportunities.

The SHARE Agriculture Foundation, a small, local, volunteer organization () will monitor the funds through their work with disadvantaged rural people in Central America.  This support will provide a ‘hand up’ to self-sufficiency. (SHARE also supports 45 high school scholarships in Belize to rural students.)

Marg Frayne commented that “after a satisfying career in education in Ontario, it’s also very rewarding to visit these literacy circles in El Salvador with SHARE and be reminded of the benefits we can bring to many people living in poverty by supporting their education.  I know that we are providing these families with an invaluable opportunity.  I am very grateful to the Retired Teachers of Ontario for their support to this literacy project.”

SHARE Announces CIDA Matched Funding

 SHARE is pleased to announce that our organization has been awarded 3 to 1 matched funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for a 3 year agricultural project in Brazil. This project will focus on helping rural families improve agricultural skills to grow food for improved family nutrition and become self sufficient. 

SHARE will support agriculture technicians in 4 states of Brazil who will provide agricultural training for peasant farmers.  The project will develop a native plant nursery, provide training at an annual organic growers’ conference, assist in training and organic certification for a group farming cashews, provide training in agricultural marketing, training  to manage  micro credit funds and improve existing agricultural research facilities.

Over 22,000 rural people in Brazil will benefit from the work of SHARE and CIDA on this project. 

SHARE Announces CIDA Matched Funding

Michael Chong Congratulates SHARE Agriculture Foundation for CIDA Funding Approval

Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills, congratulates the SHARE Agriculture Foundation at the organization’s recent annual golf tournament at Guelph Lake for receiving funds from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for agricultural and literacy project work in Central and South America.

Second CIDA Funded Project for SHARE Agriculture Foundation

SHARE will again partner with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for a 3 year project in El Salvador.  The focus of this project is teen and adult literacy and agricultural training in 40 disadvantaged rural communities.  Over 800 men and women will learn to read and write in a curriculum that includes life and employment entry skills approved by the Ministry of Education in El Salvador.  The agriculture training will give over 400 men and women skills to produce food for their families and for sales in small local markets. In total over 12,000 impoverished men, women and children will benefit from this project.  SHARE will closely monitor the project and will work with a reputable national farm workers’ not-for-profit organization in El Salvador.  Any funds raised from SHARE donors for this work in the next 3 years will be matched by the Canadian government with 3 to 1 funding. 

The new CIDA/SHARE project in El Salvador will fund literacy lessons for teens and adults for 3 years in 40 rural communities

400 men and women will be trained and receive agricultural inputs to feed families in 40 communities in El Salvador


SHARE dairy projects show lasting results in small Belizean communities. Farmers in Arenal village (a small village on the Belize-Guatemala border) were helped by SHARE sponsorship to build fencing and dig ponds to contain their cows that were generously provided by SHARE. The projects in the village began 10 years ago and during the recent monitoring tour we had an opportunity to see them trotting past the school. While visiting the new school in the village, built by the Canadian Government via the Canadian High Commission in Belize, on land donated by the Belizean Government, we were pleased to see a healthy herd of Brahma-Holstein cross cattle being herded through town to their other pasture field. The SHARE cattle have improved the livelihood and prosperity of the group of farmers involved and the offspring appear to still be going strong.

From Belize - Katie Savage - Jan. 29/08


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