£178,522.44

raised by 157 supporters
University of Sheffield

Desert Garden appeal

The University of Sheffield is taking science out of the labs and into the real world by using waste mattress foam to grow fresh food in the desert for people displaced by war. With your help we can improve the quality of life for these refugees.
Desert Garden Appeal
5 days remaining
Charity Registration No: HMRC Registered

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Story

Scientists from the University of Sheffield have been working together with families displaced by war, enabling them to grow their own fresh food without soil in the desert. They have been able to re-use the most unlikely material in the process - discarded mattresses. This project will end soon if we don't act now. Will you help secure the future of the Desert Garden project?

February 2020 update

Thank you so much to everyone who has generously donated so far, we have now raised over £175,000 from over 700 donations! You have helped 600 families to receive the training, equipment and materials needed to start their own desert gardens.

Make a difference today

£10 provides plants and nutrient solution for one family .

£25 buys enough fertiliser to grow 300 kilos of tomatoes.

£100 sets a family up with a full hydroponic system, enabling them to grow plants without using soil.

£500 pays for seeds and fertiliser for 20 families a year.

The problem

There are over 80,000 people displaced by war living in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. These refugees are in limbo with no idea when they will be able to move on or go home, as a result of the ongoing Syrian civil war. The salty, infertile soil is unsuitable for growing plants. Hundreds of used foam mattresses are piling up in the camps, unable to be re-used and destined for landfill.

The solution

Scientists at the University of Sheffield are experts in hydroponics, a method of growing plants without using soil. Recognising a similarity between the high-tech polyurethane foam they use in their lab in Sheffield and Zaatari's discarded mattress foam, they have found an innovative way of enabling the refugees to grow their own fresh food in the camp. To date, over 650 refugees have received the training and materials they need to grow food in this way. Together, they have grown over 100,000 plants and are sharing their knowledge with others in their community. 3,000 more refugees will receive training over the next three years, making the Desert Garden project self-sustaining.

The benefits

By growing fresh herbs, fruit and salad vegetables, the refugees are surrounded by an array of colours and now have access to fresh produce, which they can use in important cultural cooking traditions. Mattresses are being re-used instead of going to landfill, reducing waste. The farmers are able to use their valuable skills, passing these on to other refugees and providing Sheffield scientists with new discoveries. Refugees who are taught these skills are starting to gain a sense of purpose, exhibiting an increase in their mental health and well-being. As a result, a feeling of empowerment is starting to spread throughout the whole community.

To find out more information visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/desert-garden

Photos

7

Fundraisers

4

user

Eleanor Carr

£150.00

raised by 3 supporters

0%
user

Andrew Cation

£5.00

raised by 1 supporter

0%
user

Xiaoyu Jia

£0

raised by 0 supporters

0%
user

Erica Williams

£0

raised by 0 supporters

0%
Supporters

153

Rob Butler

4 hours ago

£10.00

Anonymous

4 days ago

What a brilliantly simple and sustainable idea! Well done to all involved

£30.00

Abdul Alim

4 days ago

Well doneTeam. I am really happy to see great work is done to help the desperate people in this world.

£30.00

Anonymous

4 days ago

Anonymous

5 days ago

£20.00

+ £5 Gift Aid

About the charity

University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield

Gifts to University of Sheffield help fund areas such as student hardship, equipment, and groundbreaking research. Thank you for your support.

Charity Registration No: HMRC Registered

http://www.shef.ac.uk/giving

Donation summary

Total raised

£178,522.44

+ £1,156.16 Gift Aid

Direct Donations

£5,507.26

Donations via Fundraisers

£155.00

Offline donations

£172,860.18
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Desert Garden appeal

University of Sheffield