Seeds of Resilience
The Big Give Christmas Challenge
We're working for resilient food systems, from the heart of Leith to rural Malawi. Help us by participating in the Big Give Christmas Challenge.
In recent years, a dedicated community has transformed a barren, abandoned part of Leith Links into a blossoming, vibrant Croft and community space that grows food, hosts environmental education courses, and is a haven for the community amidst economic and ecological violence. Our aspiration is to create connections and solidarity with those most affected by climate change and use the Croft as a space to amplify their voices through stories and exhibitions. For this reason, we are raising funds to support an organic farm in Malawi and Leith Croft. We want to exchange knowledge and practice in order to build resilient people-led food systems, everywhere.
Recently, Leith Croft has seen some vandalism, which makes it harder to continue our work. We want to make the Croft a radically inclusive space, and want to put resources into inviting the vandals in, to overcome differences and build community resilience. Wouldn’t it be great if we could use this as an opportunity to broaden our empathy and increase participation in the Croft and climate action more broadly?
This year, we’re participating in the Big Give Christmas Challenge to help us continue our work. We’re inviting organisations and individuals to pledge funds during summer. Come Christmas, we ask members of the public to donate. Every donation will be matched and doubled by the pledgers, and Champions associated with the Big Give.
You will find more information on our work in Leith, projects in Malawi, and the Big Give below. A more detailed briefing can be found here. We hope you will feel inspired to get involved by supporting our Big Give participation. To become a pledger, click here or on the button below. Enjoy!
In the face of climate change, people everywhere need to build resilient, low-carbon, people-run food systems!
Leith Community Croft (Edinburgh, Scotland)
We are Leith Community Crops in Pots, an Edinburgh-based charity. Amongst other things, we run Leith Community Croft. This provides plots for local people to share and grow their own food, it hosts beehives and it has a wide range of plants for pollinating insects. It has a tree nursery, producing willows and fruit trees, and it hosts outdoor play events for children. There is also a market garden which will soon provide produce for a farm shop and café, and our environmental education project, the Croft Carbon College, runs some of its workshops on the Croft.
Climate change has been majorly driven by rich countries from the Global North, and has disproportionately affected countries in the Global South. We believe that everyone (especially people in affluent countries) should be educated about climate justice and take active steps to change this. We aim to foster responsible global citizenship and support like-minded projects in Malawi. In both Leith and Malawi’s Rumphi District, we can see how the lack of access to land and erosion of local food knowledge result in food insecurity. We think that people around the world can share knowledge and experiences as they build better food systems locally.
Mother Elizabeth Organic Farm (Rumphi District, Malawi)
Mother Elizabeth Organic Farm occupies five hectares of farmland in the Rumphi District of Malawi. The organisation farms organically and teaches organic farming practices to local people. There are residences, four chalets, and a residential building for students. MEOF is in need of funds to continue its work and improve the facilities on site.
We want to create spaces for learning and empowerment for everyone, everywhere!
Back in Leith: vandalism!
Recently, young people have vandalized the Croft. Instead of punishing or disciplining them, we want to make the Croft a radically inclusive space for learning and empowerment. We want to encourage people who use the Croft destructively to engage in a more positive way. Fixing together what’s been damaged could be a powerful way of building community resilience.
There are many ways in which we can initiate this process. We’re inspired by projects such as Youth Vision and would like to strengthen our links with Leith Academy or local youth groups. From a place of knowledge about their needs, we could tailor appropriate programming, such as building or art projects.
Meanwhile in Malawi...
Mother Elizabeth Organic Farm’s developing resilience depends on infrastructure. Amongst other things, we will help set up rainwater harvesting and storage facilities, establish a green electricity supply, produce certificates for graduates, and pay for exchange visits between Malawi and Leith to enhance mutual understanding and strengthen connections between the two communities. More details can be found here.