I Care Champion Profile
Henry Reinders (right) with Malawian farmer Danny Gwira (left). (Photo: Shaylyn McMahon)
Henry Reinders never intended to become an advocate for Canadian aid and international development. But then he went to Malawi on a Canadian Foodgrains Bank learning tour.
“We have our own issues [in Canada],” says Reinders, a retired dairy farmer from Meaford, Ontario who visited the African country last year.
“But when I compare what I witnessed in Malawi to people in Canada, there is something different: when people don’t have food, they starve.”
For Reinders, his passion for ending hunger and promoting aid from Canada was a natural progression.
It began with his involvement in 1997 in the Bighead River growing project, where farmers come together to plant, tend and harvest a crop, donating the proceeds from the sale of the crop to the Foodgrains Bank.
Involvement in the growing project, including being part of the organizing committee, sparked a growing interest in the issue of global hunger for Reinders.
“Global hunger is an issue that doesn’t need to be,” he says. “We have enough food in the world to end it.”
In February 2018, Reinders joined a group of Canadians on a tour to Malawi to learn about conservation agriculture and the work of Foodgrains Bank partners in that country.
Through the tour, he saw first-hand what life is like for farmers in Malawi. Upon return to Canada, he felt a strong responsibility to advocate for those struggling with getting access to enough food to live healthy and productive lives.
Today, Reinders feels it is the responsibility of all Canadians to do their share when it comes to addressing hunger in places like Malawi.
Global hunger is an issue that doesn’t need to be, we have enough food in the world to end it.
Since returning from Malawi, he has given presentations to churches and groups in his community to tell the stories of his experience, and to encourage others to think about their role in helping people around the world.
“There is no better feeling than visiting someone in another country and recognizing the importance of the help that we give to people who are hardworking and industrious,” he says, noting he hopes that many other Canadians will join him in learning more about the importance of helping others, and also contribute their energy, time, and voice to the cause of ending hunger.
Reinders isn’t alone. We know Canadians care about their global neighbours—and through our I care postcard campaign, we want to let the Prime Minister know too!
We’re inviting Canadians to sign and send a postcard to the Prime Minister letting him know they support Canada’s role in helping end global hunger and extreme poverty.