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LET'S SEED THE FUTURE

by ALEIMAR - Voluntary Organization
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LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE
LET'S SEED THE FUTURE

Another three months has passed and important news have made all the way from Boukoumbé to our office!

In fact, the women of Boukoumbé have been able to buy four huskers for the fonio production, and they were able to start a real Female Factory, thanks to which they can obtain their independence and build a future for them and their children.

Fonio is a very important cereal in Benin. Although the production of it has been average, and it's existence has been rather discreet, fonio has incredible properties: it is rich in magnesium, calcium, manganese and zinc; it contains more carbohydrates than proteins and lipids, and furthermore it has a good percentage of iron and essential amino acids. It is gluten free, and is very versatile to be used as baby nourishment and for senile alimentation.

Besides the nutritional factors, this plant does not require treatment and this is an added value that so preserves 
the surrounding environment and the health food of the man himself.
In addition, it has the peculiarity of being able to draw water and nutrients to 3 meters deep in the ground, so this culture
is great in most extreme agricultural situations.
Finally, fonio grows in just 6-8 weeks allowing a quickly crop.
 
Our project leaders, Antonio and Antonella, cannot wait to go South! 
Their journey is scheduled on April 21st. Antonella is bringing a big suitcase full of presents for the children they will be visiting,
and Antonio has already taken contacts with Hervé Kindji, leader of the local ONG called AIDe B-Bénin – Association for the impulse
to development at the Base – who is thrilled to tell them all about his projects for environmental sensibility.
Together, they want to achieve new ways to further develop the project.
 
We hope for the best and that their tour will be successful and can’t wait for new pictures!
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The monitoring mission guided by our project managers took place last October. During the trip, they visited all the Aleimar projects and they focalized on the progresses made by each initiative. André N’tcha, our local project coordinator,has just left the hospital and he is now ready to restart his important commitment with the women involved in the activities. The donors’ valuable support, gave us the possibility to buy a double screw press for the manioca(you can see it in the picture below).

Despite the fact that October is usually a difficult month for the cultivation, we can affirm that the harvest has been good, so much that the women taking part in the microcredit activities are now investing their credit for products selling on the local market basis.

The vast majority of cereals production made possible to stock a big part them in the warehouse of Toucountouna in order to resell it during shortage period and raising the price. They called it “Cereals Bank”.

We are carrying on our schools awareness activities, this scholastic year will be focalized on two important issues: the environmental protection and the recycling.

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Realization of gardens
Realization of gardens

Antonio Carettoni and Antonella Graziati, our project managers, are presently in Benin for a monitoring mission. They are travelling throughout the Country in order to visit all Aleimar projects. As far as “Let’s seed the future” is concerned, we must tell that our local coordinator in hospital so he won’t be able to follow the activities for a month. Antonio and Antonella met his colleague who is now in charge of the project. There are 15 groups of women who started their income generating activities thanks to microfinance. October is the harvest season: by the end of the month we’ll be able to see the products of the land and the income for the families.

In Italy a photo exhibition of the school boards on food security and food sovereignty, made by the students involved, was inaugurated. We are organizing meetings of restitution of the African workshop in Italian schools.

Workshop for theachers in Benin
Workshop for theachers in Benin
Photo exhibition
Photo exhibition
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italian teachers in Benin
italian teachers in Benin

From June to September is the rainy season in Benin, then the maximum working period in the countryside. The women participating in the project are very busy and that's why this time the training  meetings were discontinued. In August / September we will take stock of the harvest and the subsequent sale of the products.
From 24/6 to 4/7 it was held in Natitingou a workshop for Italians and Beninese teachers who have joined the project. Purpose of the workshop: a reciprocal knowledge and an exchange of experiences about the project implemented in their schools on the theme of adding value to local products, a more healthy and balanced nutrition and environmental protection. At the opening day was attended by two local authorities: the mayor of Natitingou and a spokesman priest of the diocese of Natitingou. In addition to three days of work in the classroom, they were made of visits to the Beninese schools involved to meet the pupils and to better understand the local reality.
At return of Italian teachers will be organized meetings of restitution in Italian schools.

school in Benin
school in Benin
local women
local women
local women
local women
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Environmental Education in Benin
Environmental Education in Benin

The project activities are going on. In the villages of Boukombe and Manta it has been started the cultivation of hot pepper, soy and corn together with livestock breeding thanks to our microcredit. In the same villages training meetings were organized to help women to better manage their first harvest and the new credit tranche (expected by April 2016). This will be the best time for the cultivations because of the rain season that makes the ground more fertile. The same training meeting was organized in the villages of Toucountouna and Natingoufor 175 women. A few problems  were highlighted during the preparation of the activities because of the national and municipal elections, ended in March 2016. During this period some members of the groups were distracted by political issues and this   destabilized the normal work of the groups. Since the results of the first year of activity were good, new people asked to join the program, so new groups were created even though they were not calculated at the beginning. This caused some problems in the cash flow. This is the reason why some expected loans have been deferred and also why we would love to extend the project to 2017, if we could get new funds.

 

As far as the activities in the schools are concerned, we can say that we realized two vegetable gardens in two Italians schools and five in Benin.

In Italy, furthermore, children assisted to the planting of trees in their school gardens. It has helped them to understand the importance of plants in our ecosystem and the importance of taking care of them. Class room meetings about food and environment in Benin are still going. A workshop for Italian and Beninese teachers is planned in Benin by the end of June: this will offer the possibility for them to exchange about their experience and good practice.

Food Education in Benin
Food Education in Benin
Planting in Italy
Planting in Italy
Realization of gardens in Benin
Realization of gardens in Benin
Women at work in Benin
Women at work in Benin
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Organization Information

ALEIMAR - Voluntary Organization

Location: Melzo - Italy
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AleimarOdV
Project Leader:
Francesca Moratti
Melzo, Italy

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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