International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

32nd World Vegetarian Congress 1996
[Vegetarian Summerfest '96: A World Vegetarian Congress]

Hunger: Vegetarian Solutions Now - Vegfam
by Freya Dinsha

[Freya Dinshah]
Freya Dinshah
Vice president of the American Vegan Society. Cookbook author,
American Vegan Society
Malaga, NJ 08328-0908
Vegfam is a charitable organization with the mission to feed the hungry without exploiting animals. It was founded in 1963 in England by Chris and Janet Aldous. Later Ruth and Friedenstern Howard became Trustees.. Frieden and others continue its work today out of the office in Devon, England. (VEGFAM, The Sanctuary, Nr Lydford, Okehampton, Devon EX20 4AL, England)

For over 30 years, Vegfam has been working with and influencing major charities around the world, by co-financing projects that do not exploit animals. Vegfam works through indigenous on-the-spot representatives, and works with existing charities to support immediate and long-term food and water-aid projects. In working with existing charities, Vegfam educates these groups about the need for relief efforts that do not feed the hungry at the expense of animals and the environment.

Short-term aid for famine victims includes purchasing grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, and vegetables, and providing water supplies. Long-term aid includes providing seeds for planting, irrigation projects, digging water wells, providing fruit and nut trees, providing vegetable plots and/or training people to grow vegetables, and Leaf Concentrate projects. Some of the countries aided by Vegfam are India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria/Biafra, Somalia, Syria, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, and many more.

In 1994 help was sent to Angola, Rwanda, and Bosnia. Donations made in 1995 were, in £ sterling; (£1 = about $1.60), and the amounts are small compared to need, to:

MALAWI (Monkey Bay) £1,000 to finance running a Fruit Tree Nursery . The project is done in conjunction with Concern Universal and the Wildlife Society of Malawi.

INDIA (Madurai) £1,265 for two wells in Karumbalai for poor villagers who would otherwise have to walk afar. £1,935 to feed orphans in the orphanage at Chathirpatti. (The orphans are taken in from various disasters in India: flood, earthquake, plague, etc.) Both of these efforts are in support of the work of Pastor Jesudoss.

INDIA (Jaipur) £500 for the leaf concentrate child feeding programs run by Find Your Feet,

INDIA (Himalayas Kumaon) £500 for a medicinal and culinary herb nursery which will help subsistence farmers earn a living and overcome a food shortage, and preserve the wild-growing herbs that are being excessively harvested.

EL SALVADOR £2,500 for growing and drying cowpea leaves to add to children's snacks to alleviate malnutrition, in cooperation with a local agency, and Find Your Feet.

So far in 1996 donations have been made to:

INDIA, through Pastor Jesudoss: £500 to help feed refugees from Sri Lanka, and £1,220 to the orphanage.

ZAMBIA: £3,000 for a maize grinding mill, donated through the Zambian Society Of Vegetarians.

MEXICO: £2,000 for a dried leaf project of FIND YOUR FEET with cooperation of a local agency.

NIGERIA, and awaiting funding, is a soy flour distribution project to be conducted by the Nigerian Vegetarian Society.

People living in the United States who wish to support Vegfam may send U.S. dollar donations to the American Vegan Society for forwarding to Vegfam in British currency. Make your check payable to AVS with the following on the Memo line: "for Vegfam", and send to The American Vegan Society, 56 Dinshah Ln, PO Box H, Malaga NJ 08328-0908.