Much more than just a garden

The situation

Natural disasters have a devastating and long-lasting effect and it’s often long after the media has moved on and emergency funds are dispersed that the recovery gaps emerge.

Organisations need rebuilding. People need ongoing support to help them face life again. Community spirit needs restoring. To meet these needs, our natural disaster recovery programs begin 12 months after a disaster. Philanthropy can play a critical and long-lasting role medium to long term recovery.

The projects that people seek support for vary enormously, but they have one thing in common: they are put forward by local people to address a local need

Alexandra Gartmann - CEO of Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal

Ravenshoe was affected by the flooding following Cyclone Yasi in 2011. The Ravenshoe Community Garden has 20 members who meet regularly to work on the gardens, which include raised garden beds at a suitable height for wheelchair gardening, irrigation, fencing around the gardens and bird netting. The members particularly enjoy the knowledge and skills exchange, and they have a lot of support through donations from the wider community.

The response

A community garden on a derelict basketball court at the community centre in Ravenshoe, Qld, which FRRR funded through its Repair-Restore-Renew program, is just one example of a successful community disaster recovery project.

The outcome

The RRR grant funding bought some physical items, like garden infrastructure, fencing and irrigation, but it also covered half of the Project Administrator's costs. This kind of funding is particularly important, given many volunteers suffer fatigue, following a natural disaster. The locals credit the FRRR grant with really getting the ball rolling on the project. The project was only funded in June 2013, and the group is already regularly harvesting vegetables.

Because FRRR was able to partially fund the Project Administrator position, there is someone really dedicated to making it happen

Christine McCullough - Community Development worker with the Ravenshoe Community Centre Inc.

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