Jan 17, 2020

Finding a balanced diet - Report 2

Work on our project started even before the donation reached the hoped-for total of 5,000 $. We thank the donors for the 3,508 $ received to date.

The aim of the project is to introduce a balanced diet to people in the Katete District of Zambia. Most of the people eat nsima, (porridge) made from maize meal, three times a day therefore their diet is deficient in the proteins and vitamins which are essential to them and in particular to their children. Those involved in our survey grow as much of their food as possible, but the increasing unreliability of the rainfall in recent years has resulted in more and longer hunger seasons.

Our previous project tested our nutritional supplement, ONENEPA. For a group of young children under five we found that it promoted growth and they added weight while maintaining appetite. As nutrition is a family matter, we are now working with whole families to find out whether they will achieve a balanced diet by growing the necessary vegetables and Moringa trees in their gardens. Moringa leaves and fruit have the highest vitamin and minerals content of any vegetable product, plus one essential amino-acid that is missing from groundnuts and other legumes. They also ad nitrates to the soil. For the project, we gave one kilo of legume to the families, plus Moringa, if their own trees were not big enough or had no leaves at the time.

We are doing the fourth weigh-in just now. This is what we find:

1. Lean times in Katete finish at harvest time about April/May and there should be enough food till December, but in 2019 the hunger started in October. (Over the years, Tiko has always provided hunger help from about January, but this time started in November, with only 25 kg of mealiemeal per family). So, assessing the effect of providing additional protein is counteracted by earlier hunger times than in the past. One way to check would be how often the crew members were sick. Analysis of the data will start when the raw data have been digitalized, which is happening now, as Tiko has just been happy to find a new intern who not only seems capable, but likes doing that sort of work. His name is Blessings.

2. Questionnaires and anecdotal information indicate that the crew did eat Moringa regularly as well as cowpeas, which would indicate great progress. Any change of mindset is a miraculous. Before there was only rape and dried pumpkin leaves and vegetable being seen as something unimportant and fruit important at best for children.

3. As to using the foodbox for extra food for the under-five children, results are not clear. Questionnnaires say they are used, but anecdotal information says people use the new containers more for carrying food around for the adults.

4. As to the weight-gains of the children according to the clinical under-five cards, again results that would predict normal development with proper food as provided by Moringa and legume, are marred by the lack of food from October..Out of 38 under-five children, 22 are fully above average or at least in the right direction, nine are below average, but not descending lower and only seven would raise an eyebrow of the clinician, none of them to be sent to the clinic, though. The results from the smaller control group are not yet available, as the early childhood centre is opening just now only. The only statistic we have is that in Katete district 43% of children are stunted in growth, which means not only less than potential height, but also medical problems. More information on that will come from the interviews, and in fact, anything conclusive will only be available from an additional weigh-in in April, if not July, when sufficient food supplies should have normalized weights and the comparison with last April would indicate the impact of famine minus the mitigation of Moringa plus legume. We wished we had started with the weights of adults of our other groups that do not get extra help as control groups, but that would need more money.

5. We would love to ask your feedback on:

  • extending the present study for another half year and
  • to include other groups for controls

6. One unexpected finding is that the Tiko crew is very much united and aware of fighting the general malaise of famine. It is a pleasure to be here and part of it is due to your help.

Zikomo kwambiri, thanks so much,


Not part of this GlobalGiving project, but an annual celebration for the community is our Christmas party with singing, dancing and games, the distribution of donated second hand shoes and clothes. The highlight of course is the feast of heaps of nsima, rice, two vegetables and meat!

A little extra is attached with our Christmas "report" by Elke to share more about life of Tiko and the crew.


Oct 21, 2019

Finding a balanced diet - Report 1

Crowdfunding number two: First report

It is three months since this project became public, but we have hardly received any contributions –

Why? Friends of Tiko do not yet know about the CROWDFUNDING PROJECT because

a)       Our newsletter had been delayed, as I was out of the country

b)      Then Lorraine, our wonderful editor for many years fell and badly broke her back and is only just now starting to smile again, but certainly not sitting and typing

c)       Claire, who kindlily took over, found that a job, a full-time study, an energetic toddler and a travelling husband make for long delay – the newsletter it due any day, please write to me at tikoeducation@gmail.com  if you would like to know what kept us so busy (our newsletter are also available here:on our website )

d)      On our end, ‘load-shedding’ of 16 hours a day and more on weekends did not help communication – we just learn that it will be three more hours!

We were to start this crowdfunding project properly a month ago, when there was another interruption: One intensive rainfall of two days seemed to start the rainy season at least six weeks early and immediately the crew  were given two days off a week to work in their fields and distribution of first seeds for planting was started. Since, we have had nothing but extremely hot days, though.

Last week weigh-ins have started. Yet, the project is more timely now than ever.


The food situation in the country is dismal. Although the Eastern Province was less unfortunate than the rest who had a devastating drought, our harvest is never enough to last until the next harvest and – we did not manage to buy enough crops to help out till next April – there simply was not enough to buy!  A way of finding a balanced diet with the limited supplies is more important than ever.

We have started interviews and have called in the under-five cards.

Results so far

We have baseline data of our crew from March/April and can compare their information on their ‘yesterday’s diet’ with that of the village women we interviewed in our first crowdfunding project 18 months ago.

We expect our crew to have a better diet, as those women were chosen because of having under-five children with malnutrition and do not live close to the action.  

From meal components mentioned

  1.  Maize              village group  55%  -      Tiko 44%                
  2. Vegetable                                 23                     27
  3. Protein                                        9                     14
  4. Legumes                                   12                     15        

As to two extra meals for the under-fives,     

                                    the villages gave 27%,       Tiko 59%

Interpretation: The differences are all in the expected direction.  Significant differences indicate that the Tiko group are eating less starch and are eating more vegetables and protein. Crowdfunding in the villages happened in September, when there tends to be more variety of food, yet  the Tiko group eat better. Also, more than double the number of extra portions were given in the Tiko group. Again that may be significant, since the village women were told about the need to give extra meals to under-fives every time they were visited by Tiko facilitators and should have made an effort, given that there was more food variety at their time.


The future. We will start distributing the extra protein now. The problem, however, will be the availability  of food – will there be enough Moringa when there is a drought? And, will cowpeas work – there were very few groundnuts in the market, while groundnuts were many. Not that we doubt the combination of cowpweas, which are legumes, with Moringa to provide protein. Rather, groundnuts are traditionally pounded and prepared as vegetable, so that it is no big deal to add Moringa . But, is it the same for cowpeas, which are traditionally cooked as they are?

We will also review the question of foodboxes. We are sure to find many more reasons why change of diet with individual differences is difficult to achieve, especially when the preferred recipient changes from the big boss to the smallest part of the group, the under-five child. We are looking forward to being able to give you valuable and interesting results next time.

We have not yet analysed the data from the under-five children, as not all carers go to the weigh-in regularly every month. Also names do not easily indicate who they belong to – to anybody from the Tiko crew or to the other parents and carers from the early childhood centre. Many children in the Tiko families are now the grandchildren of our volunteer workers and in this system have totally different names, as have the children who are kept as ‘dependents’. Distribution of ONENEPA will start immediately we have received all the cards with the latest data.

Likewise, the number of clinic visits should be less for people who eat a more balanced diet. As to weight loss, on the other hand that is not necessarily so – is not weight loss for obesity often associated with a diet high in protein? But, weighing the adults (and thereby the older children) is a good entry point to ask questions about diet and clinic visits.

If praying for rain was working, we would ask for your help with that, but mainly we ask you for help to have enough food supplies not only for the recipient of help, but also for the organizers – any extra effort, any group meeting, means the provision of some food by Tiko. Famine is here and we are in trouble. Zikomo kwambiri – thanks so much.




Aug 9, 2018

Final financial and findings report and outlook

GlobalgGiving project: Financial Report

Tikondane community centre is happy to report the closing of its project ‘Stop malnutrition in 200 Under-Fives in Zambia.

This is the financial report:

On 17 August 2017 ZMW 47 523.53 ZMW was paid into the Tikondane Community bank account this equating to US$ 5 280.50 at the exchange rate of one dollar = 9 AMW.



ONENEPA     US$ 10 per child for visits over a 4-week period.

156 seen three times       = 156 x US$ 7.50                                                   US$ 1 170

150 seen once                    = 150 x US$ 2.50                                               US$    375

2 sets of scales bought, repaired and gauging                                                US$   110

229 children were given Moringa seedlings                                                     US$   229

Stationery US$ 50, Phone cards US$ 80                                                       US$   130

Four bicycles                                                                                              US$   360

Bins for the composting toilet: 3 bins x 44 weeks at ZMW 70                          US$    924

Composting toilet                                                                                        US$ 1 650

Project manager ZMK 1 000 for 9 months                                                      US$   900

Total                                                                                                           US$ 5 848


Total expenditure                                                                                         US$ 5 848

GlobalGiving payment                                                                                  US$ 5 280

Costs met by Tikondane Community Centre                                                  US$     568


Four people were going to 20 villages, trying to see the same children five times.

However, with appointments often disturbed by funerals in the villages(where everyone has to attend, which is a problem also at tiko) or visits at relatives in neighbouring villages, especially on the information via cell phone, that somebody is coughing (which immediately raises fears of a serious disease) to get three quarters of the 200 children 4 times, the crew had to travel about seven times.

Also, in the beginning, they simply tested another 50 or so new ones, fearing that they would never make up the number. But then in the end, only 3 lots of ONENEPA found the same child, l64 in all, since of all things, the rains started and serious work in the villages began.

There were other obstacles, last but not least the notation on the under-five card, since one has to remember all the time that the first month is not January, but the month of the birth of the child. Under those circumstances, in fact it is amazing that in the end 75 % had a change of weight gain which was better than for their age.

The main findings were:

  1. ONENEPA which contains a high proportion Moringa powder works as an excellent food supplement.There is a lot of diarrhea among the under-fives
  2. The composting toilet is a hit with women in the compound
  3. Meals consist almost exclusively of maize
  4. Most meals in the family are shared, even including the ONENEPA
  5. Extra meals were not given, there is no place to keep food, everything cooked is eaten and snacks are not made and kept’

From the above findings it became apparent that malnutrition is a problem for entire families and that it will be necessary to make a number of changes to our follow up project which we are now preparing.

Despite all problems, in her vote of thanks on the occasion of Tiko’s Annual General Meeting, the representative of Soweto compound reported that the children who had been malnourished were now doing well.

Based on these results we intend to initiate a follow-up project which will include the families of the under-fives involved.

We will again find households with under-fives who are below average weight for their age and:

  1. Bring them ONENEPA
  2. Bring them a food box
  3. Do a cooking demonstration for foods that can be prepared in the villages and kept in the food boxes for the under-fives, together with the ONENEPA, e.g. porridge of all kinds, especially with soya; cowpea sausages, boiled cassava, roasted groundnuts, fruits in season and Moringa leaves with groundnuts or legumes.
  4. Bring groundnut powder.
  5. Explain that Moringa is the best food of all. It is part of ONENEPA, which is for the young children, but should be eaten by the whole family: It protects from disease by having many vitamins and minerals. It also provides protein food, if eaten together with groundnuts/peanuts or legumes.
  6. Ask them to cook a vegetable dish from Moringa with groundnuts (Moringa tsinjira) every day.
  7. Offer the families an opportunity to take part in a commercial venture, by growing ten Moringa trees, one for the family and nine for business.
  8. Tell them that rabbits and chickens also thrive on Moringa, which they love.


Thanks to all our donors. We hope that we can count on you again to support our next project.

Tigris Kundowe

Please note that Cathrine Munyansho is no longer with us, she is getting married in another part of Zambia.


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