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Jun 21, 2018

Farms for Orphans, Inc. June 2018

Children eating palm weevil larvae
Children eating palm weevil larvae

Dear Donors,

Thank you for supporting Farms for Orphans!  We couldn't accomplish this work without you.

This past February I traveled to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where our current activities are taking place.  I visited with all of the orphanage farms and distributed our insect farming biosecurity protocol. The protocol provides our farmers with information on how to keep their insect farm healthy and free of disease.  In addition, the protocol provides farmers with training on proper personal hygiene.  Our aim is to have healthy farmers and healthy, productive insect farms!

During this trip, I had the opportunity to enjoy a palm weevil dinner with one of our orphanage partners. It was exciting and heartwarming to see the children’s happy faces as they enjoyed a nutritious, protein-packed meal of palm weevil larvae (PWL)

And speaking of nutrients, our partners at the University of Kinshasa recently completed a nutritional analysis of the PWL grown at our training farmDid you know that a 100 g serving of these PWL (approximately 12 larvae) can meet, and in some cases exceed, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for children for certain nutrients? See attached Tables 1 and 2.

Further, a market analysis revealed that our farmers can sell their palm weevil larvae at market for prices above that of other proteins:

 

Table 3: Market value of available proteins in Kinshasa

Protein                                Market Value(USD/lb)

Palm weevil larvae               $18.18

Beef (filet)                            $5.90

Goat                                     $4.55

Pork                                     $3.63

Chicken                               $1.68

 

You can see that PWLare relatively very expensiveBefore Farms for Orphans’ program, they were just another protein source that was out of reach for our orphanage partners.

For many orphanages in Kinshasa, space is extremely limited. There is no option to grow a garden or engage in small-scale animal husbandry.  Insect farming is their only option for producing foodor generating incomethrough agriculture.    

This past MayI had the privilege of presenting our insect farming work, including some of the nutrition and economic information,at the Insects to Feed the World international conference in Wuhan, China.  We at Farms for Orphans recognize the potential applications of insects to address many world issues,including utilizing insects to up-cycle food waste into protein production while protecting the environment!  We are excited about the future of insect agriculture and hope that our work has sparked your own interest in the promising field of entomophagy.

I am currently preparing to depart for Kinshasa on June 23.  I have a packed itinerarybut I am most excited to visit with the orphanage farms and children. 

On behalf of the children, the orphanages, and all of us at Farms for Orphans, thank you again for your interest in our work. You, dear donors, made this happen!

Sincerely,

Dr. Amy Franklin

Farms for Orphans, Inc. Founder and CEO

 

P.SThere are many ways in which you can give to Farms for Orphans. Consider telling your friends and family about our project – share our GlobalGiving link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation

Children eating palm weevil larvae 2
Children eating palm weevil larvae 2
Children eating palm weevil larvae 3
Children eating palm weevil larvae 3

Attachments:
Feb 5, 2018

Upcoming trip to Kinshasa, DR Congo!

Dear Donors,

Thank you for your continued support of Farms for Orphans! We couldn't accomplish this work without you.

A quick update for you as I am currently preparing to depart for Kinshasa, DR Congo!

First on the itinerary is to visit the orphanage palm weevil farms.  I am so excited to see the progress they have made and am looking forward to sharing pictures with you! We will be distributing educational materials to the orphanages on basic hygiene practices as well as an insect farm bio-safety manual to help them keep their “micro-livestock” healthy and free of disease.

In the previous update, I mentioned an upcoming nutritional study we will begin this year to evaluate the health benefits the addition of the larvae in the children’s diet may afford.  We will be meeting with health professionals in Kinshasa in preparation for the study.  In the coming weeks, they will begin to gather baseline health data on the children.

We are also exploring a new partnership with Loyola University of Congo.  Loyola is an agriculturally focused institution, housing one of two veterinary school in the DR Congo.  Loyola maintains a working farm and agroforestry research center where they are particularly interested in adapting agricultural systems in the face of climate change.  Insect farming systems is, of course, one their interests!  We are looking forward to sharing our knowledge with them and learning more about their research and programs.

I have a packed schedule and am anticipating a productive trip.  I look forward to providing updates and pictures upon my return.

Thank you again for all you have done to help this cause.

Sincerely,

Amy Franklin

Founder and CEO, Farms for Orphans, Inc.

 

PS- Consider telling your friends and family about our project – share our GlobalGiving link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation! 

Oct 19, 2017

Orphanage Farm Training September 2017

Sweet faces
Sweet faces

Dear Donors,

Thank you again for supporting Farms for Orphans! We couldn't accomplish this work without you.

The money we raised in the June fundraising drive was well utilized this last month, when I traveled to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, where our current activities are taking place. I traveled with our US-based project partners, Global Orphan Foundation. Here are some highlights.

The first half of this trip was spent meeting with our Congolese collaborators and visiting with our orphanage partners. We met with the director of the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Kinshasa, whois conducting a market analysis on our behalf. We are looking at the availability of all edible insects sold in Kinshasa's markets throughout the year, an analysis that will help us determine which edible insects we will target next for farming. We also met with our colleagues at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Loyola University Lastly, we meet with the mission office for the US Agency for International Development in Kinshasa; Mbuji Mayi (central Congo), where we plan to expand operations, is one of their priority regions for development assistance. They were very interested in our work and the possibility of collaborating with us once we do start to work in Mbuji Mayi. These partnerships will help Farms for Orphans continue to expand our reach to the millions of orphaned children in DR Congo and beyond.  

In between meetings, we visited with three of our orphanage partners. It is always nice to visit with the children! During one orphanage visit, the caregivers were preparing the second (and final) meal of the day. The meal consisted of fufu (a mixture of cornmeal and cassava root), greens and fish - SIX (6) small fish for more than 50 children! This was one of the few days/week that a protein would be provided to the children, and it was not nearly enough to adequately nourish their hungry and growing bodies. These orphanages will benefit greatly from our program and are very excited to get started.

Our second week was spent training representatives from five orphanages on starting their own palm weevil larvae farms. These five orphanages have a combined 1,000 children in their care who will benefit from these farms. Thanks to your support, we were also able to provide all of the tools the orphanages needed to get started ($250/farm kit). We are all so excited to watch their farms GROW!

Last but not least, we’re sure you’ll be curious to hear that during this trip and for the first time we tried the palm weevil larvae (mpose in Lingala) we’re currently farming in DR Congo. They were cooked in their own fat (they have a very high fat content) with spices. They tasted like little breakfast sausages. Delicious!

On behalf of the children, the orphanages, and all of us at Farms for Orphans, thank you again for your interest in our work. You, dear donors, made this happen!

Sincerely,

Amy Franklin

Founder and CEO, Farms for Orphans, Inc.

Orphanage visit
Orphanage visit
Training our orphanage partners
Training our orphanage partners
Farming graduates!
Farming graduates!
Small-scale palm weevil farm
Small-scale palm weevil farm
Cooked palm weevil larvae- so good!
Cooked palm weevil larvae- so good!
 
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