Impact Report 2020 – Training Generations

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Thrive for Good

2 billion people don’t get the life-giving nutrients they need to reach their full potential.

Thrive empowers communities with the training and simple tools they need to sustainably grow an abundance of healthy, organic, disease-fighting foods for life. Thank you for helping to get real nutrition to those in need.

A Time Like No Other

Dear friends and partners,

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to produce uncertainty, stress and trauma around the world. There are days I am still in shock trying to dimensionalize the catastrophe it has created, especially as it relates to nutritional food access for the marginalized. In many communities, there are no healthy options available, only unaffordable canned and packaged items. The nearest grocery with fresh produce sometimes over 70 miles away – an impossible situation for health, for life.

We have all been impacted by this virus, which has been devastating for so many. However, it is also a time that is bringing out the best in people. Many have dug deeper, pressed in more, innovated, changed, survived and even thrived.

When the pandemic erupted, the Thrive team took immediate steps to pivot and double-down on our commitment to teaching, training, and empowering communities. We spared no time or effort as we planned and strategized to move our training to an online platform, the Thrive Institute. We removed geographical barriers and opened up our Life Garden training to all corners of the world.

This quick, foundational change will prove instrumental as Thrive grows and scales to transform over 1 million people with nutrition and health.

The pandemic has also highlighted the necessity of strong collaboration between partners and organizations focused on food security during this time of acute need. I have been deeply encouraged by the numerous strategic partnerships Thrive is forming with large international NGOs to fast-track our contagious training for Life Gardening.

As we enter 2021, we have ramped up our team, educators and support. We are maximizing our Thrive Institute training as we leverage our partnerships. Amidst the ambiguity of the pandemic and various lockdown measures, our team is filled with fiery-passion to fight the worst poverty the pandemic has left in its wake. We carry hope and excitement to see the transformation of health in communities worldwide. Change is possible.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you again for all you are doing to Be The Difference in the fight to bring health and nutrition to the most impoverished parts of the world. We appreciate you for being a part of our journey and part of our team.

With gratitude,

James Woller
International Executive Director

Transformation Through the

Simply filling bellies doesn’t create a sustainable, long-term solution to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Instead, Thrive focuses on education and empowerment to help people lift themselves out of poverty.

Thrive gives people a hand up.

Education helps remove the stigma of charity, it creates strength and independence. People remain dignified and are in charge of transforming their own health. Over 60% of Thrive Communities are sustainable – they don’t require any further monetary investment.

Thrive’s goal in 2021 is to train more communities, not only in Africa but around the world through the Thrive Institute.

  • The Thrive Institute is the first online training platform that empowers and equips students with the training needed to start ‘Life Gardens’ and grow nutritious, disease-fighting foods. Learners aren’t just taught how to grow nutritious, organic food, they learn how to grow sustainably and generate income from the surplus.
  • Thrive Institute courses are based on over 1 million hours of training, research and applied practice and extensive consulting with world leaders in health and organic growing.
  • With an online platform that optimizes the learning experience through video, instructed course teachings, and online resources, students can advance their ‘growing’ skills any time, anywhere and on any device that is connected to the internet.

Sowing Seeds of Change

Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi and one of the biggest slums globally, housing around 1 million people. Most of these people live in extreme poverty, earning less than a dollar per day. A fifth of children die before they turn five, and around half of Kibera’s population are under the age of 15, many of whom have been orphaned by AIDS. Approximately 60% of Kibera’s population suffers from HIV.

Very few girls in Kibera have the opportunity to go to school, and many resort to trading sex for food, which leads to HIV, unwanted pregnancies and abortions. These can be very dangerous as there are no medical facilities to perform such procedures.

Due to high unemployment levels, drinking changaa, a widely available, cheap and powerful alcoholic drink, is a popular pastime. The literal Swahili translation of the word changaa is “kill me quick’. Shockingly, the life expectancy in Kibera is only 30 years which is significantly less than the rest of Kenya. On top of all these challenges is, of course, the world pandemic situation of COVID-19.

Despite all of this, the residents harbour hope and a desire to improve their lives.

On June 15th, 2020, Jimmy Nkundabatware, a Thrive organic agricultural trainer, searched Kibera to find land for a new garden project. “I have compassion and heart to bring new life to Kibera,” he said.

Finding a suitable land plot was challenging though, after consulting many different people, Jimmy was offered a small space and started a project with 20 members.

There are now 60 gardening beds flourishing with various crops, and the lives of the members involved have changed completely. They are eating healthy, organic green foods, and some have healed sicknesses like fever, malaria and ulcers. Eighty beds were developed for income generation, and medicinal plants like artemisia, lemongrass, rosemary, and chaya were planted.

Jimmy is teaching children in both primary and secondary school the importance of growing healthy food. He is also working with a group of single mothers wanting to cultivate their own gardens, once he is able to find them some land.

“For sure, we have changed the community of Kibera.
We are offering some hope.”

Expanding Thrive’s Impact with Corporate Partnerships

“Partnering with Thrive has been a very rewarding experience for JusTea. It is wonderful to see the tangible impact that Thrive’s work directly has on communities in Kenya. JusTea’s staff and customers also feel this benefit by knowing that there is a greater purpose behind each cup of tea.”

Paul Bain, Tea Captain
JusTea – justly made tea

This year Thrive partnered with the following Corporate Sponsors:

Thrive has also formed the following Program Partnerships:

“Food for the Hungry Canada is thrilled to be collaborating with Thrive for Good, as their training is deeply relevant to our partner communities. With Thrive’s training on growing disease-fighting foods, families not only learn how to improve their health and put nutrition back into the soil, but also how to generate sustainable income at a low cost. Our joint pilot project provides an accessible online training platform that will transform the way we are able to deliver quality training in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Rwanda.”

Patty-Leigh, VP International Programs
Food for the Hungry

Thrive’s Impact

$6 M

in Sustainable Food Produced


Double Dug
Garden Beds


Individuals Lifted out of Poverty by Life Gardens


Total Active Projects or Partner Communities


Total Number of Partnerships

15 M

Meals Produced through Life Gardens


Partner Communities are Income Generating or Sustainable


New Learners Accessing Thrive Institute’s Online Training


Prison Inmates Completed the Growing Health Seminar

Organic Gardening. Nutrition. Natural Medicine. Income Generation.

Growing Health, Inspiring Change

Thrive currently partners with seven prisons in Kenya to train inmates in Life Garden practices to provide them with nutritious, healthy food cultivation. This is just the beginning, though, as Thrive has been formally asked by the Kenya Prisons Service to expand our impact to all 127 prisons throughout the country over the next three years.

These gardens produce enough nutritious organic food to feed the inmates. They also learn transferable gardening skills, giving them the capacity to generate income upon release. It’s a fantastic testament to the power of organic farming.

Last year was particularly challenging as COVID-19 posed a dangerous threat to inmate safety. However, the Kitale Main Prison, together with Steven Wanjala, the Assistant Farm manager on the ground, made an immediate plan to provide herbal teas to all 1,100 inmates and staff as the best natural medicine to help prevent an outbreak.

Each day, prison staff prepared 40 litres of tea, combining Ginger Lemongrass, Artemisia and Moringa. Artemesia is an indigenous plant to East Africa used in ALL Thrive Life Gardens. It has 19 disease-fighting compounds that make it the most potent immune booster among all leafed plants.
Additionally, a team of 50-60 police officers came to the garden every day to have a cup of immune-strengthening tea.

The prison initially had six inmates who had shared a room with one patient that was positive for the virus. Still, after quarantine and re-testing, none of them ever contracted the disease. They also had two inmates test positive who were immediately separated from the others. They were given a daily dose of the herbal teas while in quarantine and remained nearly symptom-free until they tested negative and were reintegrated.

The team at Thrive, however, was not surprised by this. Throughout the 700 projects and over 40,000 community members we work with, this demonstration of health held true. During the year, we received many reports, all of which did not include any health impacts of COVID-19. It is a testament to the health and robust immune systems that come from Thrive Life Gardens.

Financial Summary

“When I give to Thrive I know that my money is making the most impact. People in need are learning to farm again, adding nutrition to their bodies, supporting themselves and their families and making some extra money. There are wins all around. Everything about Thrive is unique, I haven’t heard of another organization that does it this way. That is why I choose to give monthly and make a difference.”


Thank you for being a world changer

Since 2004 we have been deeply committed to growing health in Africa.

We developed research-based methods for growing the most nutritious food organically — almost anywhere and at the lowest cost.

We layered in a holistic health model that includes in-depth education on nutrition, cultivation and use of natural medicinal plants.

We learned how to teach people to teach others on the ground and online with the Thrive Institute so that health changes can ripple out across communities, countries, continents.
Growing health this way, plants hope, and harvests change. That’s why we call what we cultivate ‘Life Gardens.’

Our training centre, the Growing Health Institute in Kenya, and all operations costs since Thrive began 15 years ago have been covered by nearly $3 million in donations from our company Natural Calm Canada. That means 100% of public donations have always gone directly to fund Life Gardens in places where nutrition is needed most.

Thrive for Good is a movement that empowers individuals and communities to THRIVE and eradicate poverty. It reflects our big vision to transform the health and lives of 1 million people by 2025.

Dale and Linda Bolton