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 email@example.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
- Maize village group 55% - Tiko 44%
- Vegetable 23 27
- Protein 9 14
- 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.