Ryerson University students Ilya Zatolokin, Sonya Noronha,
Stefany Nieto and Ben Canning.
Enactus Ryerson photo via Canadian Press
He did not accept that
the prohibitive cost of
imported fruits and vegetables
in the frozen North
was "just the way it is".
He dreamed a dream,
built an igloo-shaped greenhouse,
He is teaching local youth
how to grow kale, and potatoes,
Nothing is impossible,
given vision, and will,
and a collection of energetic hands
On the news last night I saw a cheering news clip about a young man with a dream. Ben Canning, a student of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, made a series of trips to Nunavut in the frozen North this spring, with three fellow students, to build an igloo-shaped greenhouse with a hydroponic system, to grow fresh vegetables for the community. The locals call it the "Green Igloo," and the community has been involved in the work.
In Nunavut, the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, which arrive by boat and plane, is exorbitant and beyond the reach of most locals. Ben said four apples cost him $13. A jug of orange juice costs $26.29. Impossible.
The students made several trips in, first to build the structure, and again to involve local youth in planting the crops, teaching them how to continue the work once the students have left. Last night's newscast showed the locals tasting fresh kale and celebrating the accomplishments of the young people involved.
The project is part of Enactus, an international organization that connects students and business experts, with a goal of using entrepreneurial action to raise living standards.The Green Igloo project is known as Growing North, a non-profit organization. They hope to expand it to neighboring communities.
How I love to see good news, and practical needs being addressed in such a positive way, on the evening news. We have long heard about the prohibitive price of groceries in the north. It is heartening to see students step up and address this, involving the community, in a solution-oriented way that brings tangible results. So much more effective than endless talking and high-priced "studies" which are exercises in futility.
What's that quote?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
for Sumana's prompt at Midweek Motif: Acceptance