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Sorting Vegetable Seeds for Needy Families, February-March, 2004

The needy families of Armenia need vegetable seeds. About 18 tons arrived as a donation, but they were all mixed together. HDP organized over 30 volunteers to help UMCOR sort the seeds in a cold warehouse in February and March. As soon as the weather warms, seeds need to be planted in order for the needy families to get as much benefit as possible from the seeds.

HDP cooperated with UMCOR in 2003 for the seed distribution and the first distribution order was placed May 25, long after the seeds need to be planted. In 2004 due to HDP and other organizations helping UMCOR sort the seeds, the first order was April 14. Unfortunately this order was for 50 bags of mixed seeds because the seed sorting was not complete. So our volunteers and Armenian Red Cross young Volunteers came to our office and began sorting again.

HPD executed distribution of the vegetable and flower seeds to the needy families in Armenia in April-June 2004. This year the sorting began in February. This was earlier than last year because we had lots of varieties and time was essential to sort the seeds out.

Armenians have lived through difficult times for centuries. The women have always been very actively involved in making difficult times smoother and less painful. This time too, a group of women were working in Charbakh warehouse: it was very cold there, lacking elementary work conditions. Nevertheless, our women proved that even in those conditions they can work, sort the seeds, acquire new friends, joke with each other and enjoy themselves. In this picture, the women volunteers are sorting seeds in a cold warehouse.

Dave Watt of HDP was doing his ultimate so the women wouldn’t feel neglected. He made some improvements for the work conditions to be more favorable, warm and nice. That encouraged the women even more who were working with a newer zest. The Red Cross volunteers, schoolchildren, headed by Lusia, also greatly supported this very valuable effort.
They caught the details of the work pretty quickly and soon we saw this group of children skilfully doing the job. After the work was completed, HDP gave all volunteers hygiene kits and a bag of seeds. The sorting continued for over a month. The next challenge was to deliver it in a timely manner.

One of the goals of HDP is also to promote volunteerism in Armenia. In an economically challenged country it is a bit difficult, but we think that we can achieve a lot step by step. Volunteers sorting the seeds was an important part of our promoting volunteerism.



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