Eco Mama’s Global Community Gardens

A vision for eco-communities

Shayna Grimwood, Teresa Butler, Chloe Elgar

Jenny with pail, Africa
Jenny with pail, Africa. Photo by Kim Kitchen,

• Access to clean water in Africa is limited. About 60% of people have access to clean water, but many cannot afford it and are forced to collect water from contaminated sources. In addition, corn, the staple food for most of Eastern Africa, is now primarily grown from Monsanto’s GMO seed, the result of very effective propaganda. Mono-cropped, highly sprayed fields result in sick workers, lengthy droughts and deadly floods.

International trade and globalization has made direct trade with Africa’s crop producing countries easy, though not fair. People are struggling to meet international demands while education, health and women’s rights continue to plummet as a result.

The only way this will change is if we change it and the way to make change is through bold, empowered action. It starts with us.

Nothing speaks louder than a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting sustainability, integrity and love. These are the qualities embodied by Eco Mama’s Global Community Gardens, the non-profit organization founded by Shayna Grimwood and Teresa Butler, two women with a lot of heart and a bucket full of experience in third world countries.

EMG is devoted to building eco-communities around the world. Its pilot project will be in rural Uganda in East Africa. EMG’s mission is to raise a projected amount of funds by February 2014, which will kick-start the development of the first of many eco-communities, founded on co-creation and sustainability. It will be a place where locals can come together to learn about and teach sustainable practices, including bio-intensive agriculture, permaculture, bee-keeping, herbal medicine, yoga, preventative health care, pre and post-natal holistic health and natural birthing.

What sets EMG apart from other NGO organizations is the group of women behind the name. Coming together from all walks of life, they share a commitment to inspire and share their knowledge of holistic living. All six members are holistic nutritionists and yogis with a shared dream of a sustainable future. The two co-founders have extensive experience living and working in East Africa and other third world countries and both have learned that current foreign aid models do not work.

No one in this world needs saving; people need a foundation for self-sustainability. Based on their personal experiences, the co-founders know that the people in these communities want and need opportunity. By offering them the tools, including community education, they hope to build a place of co-creation and empowerment.

With this vision in mind, EMG’s main fundraising event is inspired by the journey that women in East Africa make every day to collect water for their families. On September 2, carrying a full jug of water on her head, Teresa will embark on the “Thirsty Bucket Trek,” a 90-day walk for awareness across Canada. Her supporters will share the incredible opportunity to co-create this eco-community built on the mighty Nile’s shores in 2014.

Written with contributions from Shayna Grimwood, Teresa Butler and Chloe Elgar. To learn more and to get involved, visit

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