Don't you love to see photos of the leafy green vegetables from the greenhouses in Mombasa?
How about all of those papaya hanging from the trees?
We are thrilled with the harvests and what they mean for our families. However, it feels like we're spinning our wheels by renting a truck for a few months at a time. The vegetables need to get to market to keep the program thriving, but we haven't been able to purchase a truck. Not to mention the number of papaya they will need to harvest from the 1500 papaya trees we've planted!
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Please contact Tanya Weaver at email@example.com if you would like to learn more about our programs or find out how you can make a difference TODAY.
What an amazing year it has been for AFCA's children, thanks to YOU! Because of YOU, thousands of children are thriving and hopeful. Because of YOU, countless children are healthy and they have returned to school. Because of YOU, hundreds of children had good food to eat this year. Because of YOU, hundreds of children have livestock and seeds with which to start small businesses. And because of you, children like Maria not only eat well, but also go to school, dreaming of a future free of poverty. We don't have enough words to thank you for what you've done because it is huge...it is life changing.
Thank you for caring for the little ones we serve and for giving them a brighter future. You are the ones who allow us to keep working for them, providing them with medicine, medical supplies, clean water, food, school fees and supplies, livestock, seeds, self-reliance and HOPE.
As you make your end of the year giving decisions, please keep us in mind so we can continue helping children in 2015 and beyond.
We wish you the best year ever, full of every blessing and happiness imaginable, knowing you are a hope-giver. If you'd like to learn even more about what we do or how you can meet some of the children you have helped, please contact me at tweaver@AFCAids.org. I'd love to chat with you!
On behalf of the children,
I find myself laughing out loud. Not a crazy laugh, but rather, a laugh of joy. The kind that you can't contain, even when you are on your own and you just feel a little bubble of happiness come up from your belly until it gets so big, it comes out as laughter. I laugh because this project is AMAZING.
The veggies just keep coming and the harvests are fantastic. Maize, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant - all are being harvested weekly. A large portion of the veggies are sold to restaurants, hotels and at the market. The proceeds help with the costs to run programs for children affected and/or infected by AIDS. A smaller portion is sold at a subsidized cost so that mothers can run small businesses and resell in the open market. Another portion is given to malnourished children. This is wonderful and we are so grateful that our little farm is doing so much.
Besides the veggies and fruit, the farm also has goats, chickens, guinea fowl, and rabbits - all to support the kids in our Mombasa program. How cool is that? Thank YOU for being part of this program...we coudn't do it without you.
Daniel, the farm manager is thrilled to have a new place to call home, too. We are building him a nice, safe little house which he'll share with other farm workers. This will allow them to cut out travel time and to enjoy the fruit of their labor (pun intended). It is a huge benefit for these guys to have housing and food as part of their salary, so we are happy to be able to help them in this small way. We hope to keep these guys with us for a long time, as they are dedicated and hard working, knowing that their labor is benefiting children in their communities.
The big concern raised a few times today is the need for a truck, which will take all the veggies and fruit to market. Right now, we are renting a truck to move the produce to market, but we really need to purchase a truck. I am trying to think creatively to see what we can do while we try to raise the funds needed for such a huge purchase (about $25k for a used truck). If anyone out there has great ideas, let me know - tweaver@AFCAids.org.
There are some things that are almost too wonderful for words. Let me try to explain one of them.
Today, we visit a project we started a couple of years ago with one greenhouse on a small farm called Portriez. The greenhouse produced tomatoes by the bucketfuls and we got super excited. With what we learned, we decided to expand the project to a larger piece of land – 50 acres, in a place called Lunga Lunga (LL), outside of Mombasa. AFCA put in a borehole and an organic greenhouse and we hit the ground running.
While I’d visited when the borehole was installed, I hadn’t been back to LL for a few months. Today, I am back, with Fred and Karina in tow. We arrive at LL and I stand amazed. I feel my mouth hang open and my jaw is somewhere hitting my chest. This place is incredible! Because Portriez developed some sort of fungus that was killing tomatoes, we moved the warehouse to LL. Now, standing before me, are two huge greenhouses and they are surrounded by rows and rows of green peppers, onions, kale, spinach, hot peppers, cassava, and all sorts of veggies. On the front of the farm, there is a huge plot of corn, with more reaching out to the left of where I stand, as far as I can see. Dotting the land are banana trees, papaya trees, and passion fruit and cucumber vines.
I am so thrilled. So beyond thrilled! This project has every making of a successful entrepreneurship which will provide funds for our supported medical and school programs here in Mombasa. My goal is that once this farm is making a profit, they will not only pay the salaries of the men who work this land tirelessly, but that it will cover costs currently covered by AFCA: school fees, uniforms and shoes for the children, medical supplies, Kids Days, and nutritional support.
The farm manager, Daniel, is as excited as a little kid, answering every single question I have (I have many of them), both professionally and knowingly. He is excited to be part of something that isn’t only growing nutritious veggies and fruit which will benefit the local economy and people, but he is motivated to be part of something much larger. This is not just a farm. This is a farm with a purpose: to allow CBHC to not need AFCA anymore. This, in turn, means that AFCA can start our work elsewhere, where no one else is working and where needs are desperate.
We have a long way to go and I don’t kid myself about that. But, today’s visit is just a breath of fresh air – it is working. This idea of a farm which will provide food for malnourished children in the CBHC program, which will provide food at subsidized cost to mothers who are starting their own small vegetable businesses, and which will allow CBHC to become self-sustaining – it is working!
The big concern raised a few times today is the need for a truck, which will help lug all the veggies and fruit to market. Right now, they are using a motorcycle, which is not going to be adequate in August when both the tomato and the corn harvest happen. One thing is to move leafy greens on the back of a motorcycle…another one is to move 300 pounds of tomatoes per week! I am trying to think creatively to see what we can do while we try to raise the funds needed for such a huge purchase. If anyone out there has great ideas, let me know - tweaver@AFCAids.org.
Thank YOU for supporting this project - you are amazing.
"Greens" as kale, spinach, cow pea leaves, and any leafy veggie is known in Africa, are hugely important. Not only are they nutritious, but they play an important role in Kenyan cooking. For many, it is the only source of iron, vitamin C and other needed nutrients. And, these leafy vegetables grow easily in climate that can't seem to support some other vegetables.
In our large farm in Mombasa, plenty of greens grow outside the greenhouses, due to the drip irrigation system we set up. It is so great because mom's who just gave birth can eat these iron-rich vegetables and children of all ages can benefit from something that is easy to grow, as well as easy to prepare. Our supported clinic makes sure to give kids of all ages a handful of vegetables to take home after their visits to the clinic or their time at Kid's Club. They give them enough for the entire family so that everyone can benefit. I love this project! It helps keep children healthy and full. And, what happens when kids are full and feeling well? They go to school!
Just ask Jamine here - she loves her greens, but more than that, she likes that she is healthy and is at school learning. She is a laugher - one of those kids who loves a good joke and is always poking fun at herself and others. With gorgeous skin, a healthy body and lots of energy, one would never guess that Jamine is HIV+. But, YOU have helped keep her healthy by supporting this project and we can't thank you enough.
On an aside:
I am excited to announce that Microsoft will be making a 100% match to this specific project on June 25, 2014, starting at 12:00PM EDT and ending on June 26, 2014 11:59AM EDT (24 hours). There are only $200,000 available in matching funds, and last year, the funds ran out in the first couple of hours. If you’d like to support our project again, this is the perfect day and time to do so. Please mark your calendar and consider giving to this project on that day. You’ll double your help to our children! Please share with friends, as there is a $2500 bonus prize for the project with the most unique donors, which we’d love to receive!
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