GROW Week has been a week of global celebration and inspiration!
GROW Week Day 1 (Saturday, October 15), the International Day of Rural Women, we launched GROW Week. Straight away, inspirational stories of commemoration began to come in from all over the world. In Tanzania, small scale woman farmer Ester Mtegule was crowned Female Food Heroine out of 6000 applicants in a special ceremony. The award highlighted and celebrated the role of rural women in food production and security.
GROW Week Day 2 (Sunday, October 16) was World Food Day and Blog Action Day. Bloggers came together in their thousands from hundreds of countries to join the big conversation, which for 2011, was food. In the spirit of GROW, Duncan Green's #BAD11 submission was about small scale agriculture.
Across the US, Canada and Australia, people used their Sunday dinner as a platform to debate the topic of food price volatility and food speculation. There were 300 events in the US alone.
GROW Week Day 3 (Monday, October 17) was the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. On the blog we looked at hunger and the impact on women, who often go hungry first and have few rights to their land, despite being major players in food production.
"You have struck a rock, you have struck a woman – we will not be moved" was a cry heard at the Rural Women's Assembly in South Africa on GROW Week Day 4 (Tuesday, October 18), echoing the words heard at an anti-apartheid march in Pretoria 55 years ago. The 3-day Assembly addressed critical issues – like the impact of climate change – faced by rural women in South Africa and throughout the world.
Global action for GROW Week continued on Day 5. Five international development organisations, including Oxfam, handed over a petition of over 31,539 signatures in support of smallholders and sustainable agriculture to the French Minister of Agriculture Bruno Le Maire at the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) meeting in Rome.
GROW Week Day 6 (Thursday, October 19) marked three months since the offical declaration of famine in Somalia. If the leaders of the world made the right decisions and put the right changes in place, the most recent food crisis in East Africa could be the last. The Charter to End Extreme Hunger calls on world leaders to implement policies – many of which are solutions that already exist – that will ensure everyone always has enough to eat.
GROW Week Day 7 (Friday, October 20) we focused on the amazing campaigning work being done around the UK. In Scotland, England and Wales, volunteers 'land grabbed' areas of city centres, donning hard hats and taping off public spaces to highlight the issue of land grabs.
At lunchtime yesterday, Oxfam's Head of Research Duncan Green hosted his first live Q&A on the GROW Facebook page all about the GROW campaign! With a quick crash course in social networking, Duncan was firing off answers to your questions on local/global agriculture, fair trade, climate change, biofuels and more, as fast as can be. You can now read the whole transcript of transcript of Duncan's GROW Q&A.
We really enjoyed all the pictures that were submitted from Russia, so we decided to put them together in a photo album. A favourite was one of a cat hiding between two giant squashes, which made everyone in the Oxfam office smile.
See: Photos from Russia
We hope you have enjoyed GROW Week as much as we have. It's been an inspirational few days. Around the world, people continue to demand justice on issues like land grabs, equal land rights and food prices.