"April 14th, 2014 was a very special day to me because Michael Folkes explained to the Mt Waddyians how he would help us with our school fees, lunches and books. This Foundation will make me maintain my grades and become more focused and develop much more in my work. This Foundation will help my mother a lot with my school fee and sending me to school. This foundation is like a gift to me. It will make me proud and not just me but my family too, as well as my teachers who have helped me from grade one through to grade six and teaching me right from wrong. This is a chance for me to shine and to become a better person in life. "
As a child Michael Folkes worked on his grandfather's farm. Melbourne Folkes used the produce to feed his extended family and sold surplus to the local college.
As farming is clearly important in Friendship, and in remembrance of his grandfather, Michael wishes to continue and develop this tradition with the Foundation's Sustenance Farming Initiative.
Involving local people and students this initiative will be a community-wide project initially providing produce to local colleges, hotels and restaurants in Phase One. With the Foundation's support it is intended that with greater scale, equipment and organization the Farming Initiative will extend to international exports.
The proceeds from this program will fund the Foundation's educational and humanitarian long-term efforts, thereby creating self-sustainability instead of relying solely on financial donations.