Hunger
 Kenya
Project #9176

Combat Malnutrition with the Moringa Tree

by Village Volunteers

Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your past donation for moninga trees. Moringa trees are a great investment in the future for impoverished communities. We've planted thousands of trees in many of the areas we work in Kenya and Ghana but we've also found that it does not grow everywhere. Where it does grow, its thriving so we are indeed always happy to report on the importance and health benefits of children with malnutrition getting the nutrition they so badly need.

Our initiative to help children with Sickle Cell Anemia, a devastating and painful endemic in Sub Sahara Africa, has led us to plant moringa trees in regions where there is a large population of children suffering from the disease. Sickle Cel Anemia is the cause of the highest rate of childhood mortality and the children usually suffer from malnutrition as do their siblings. While there is no cure, keeping children out of crisis is a matter of health interventions like good nutrition, clean water and breathing exercises.

We work with many students and professionals who are helping us create curriculum to educate communities who had considered it a curse on their families. Sickle Cell Anemia takes its toll on families as its expensive to keep a child alive who may need blood transfusions.  The protein and other nutrients required are hard to come by and this puts a  strain on families who are poor and cannot afford adequate protein. All the children of a family suffers as poverty is a cruel cycle of difficulties. Moringa has the highest plant protein rate that is higher than soybean meal. 

We are so pleased that our moringa trees are growing and the families have access to the trees that were planted. We still need help to buy the powdered leaves from our women's groups to send to other villages where the children are malnourished.  

The moringa tree project is making a difference and it just keeps growing!

Shana

Seeds sent to the Village Volunteers office
Seeds sent to the Village Volunteers office

Dear friends,

It was a wonderful surprise when over a year ago, Char Geletka, a Director of the Center for Gifted & Talented Youth in Florida contacted us about how her students were interested in our moringa project because of the value to communities with serious malnutrition.

One of her students was particularly keen in finding us seed to be able to set up moringa nurseries in more communities in Africa and Asia. The heart that went in to calling growers and finding seeds to plant resulted in the group sending us a bag of seeds that they got from their donations. That bag of seeds went to Northern Ghana where they were planted in areas of extreme poverty.
Seeds from the same batch of seeds the students sent to us were planted in Florida at some of their homes. Surprisingly since moringa only seems to do well in very hot humid areas of the world and do poorly when the temperature drops, did well enough to provide us with a big bag of seeds this year to send to Kenya. 
The bag will be sent to Raphine Muga who manages our moringa projects in Kenya for families with children with Sickle Cell Anemia. Sickle Cell Disease results in the highest childhood mortality rate in Sub Saharan Africa where the poorest families cannot provide the nutrition that is required to keep their children strong.
When corn is a staple and often all that is provided,  powdered moringa at even low quantities, can provides nutrition to young children with Sickle Cell Anemia. Morings is also provided to the very youngest children to combat malnutrition - a condition that is chronic when not caught early resulting in stunted growth and intellectual capacity. 
We ask that you continue to help us by donating or doing a subscription se we can set up new programs, training for mothers in the planting, care and harvesting of moringa and the powdering and use of the dried leaves.
Thank you!
Shana
Women
Women's Group planting moringa trees

What we do know is that Sickle Cell Anemia (SCD) is a debilitating disease that has created the highest rate of childhood mortality in Sub Saharan Africa.  What we also know is that most of the children with SCD also suffer from malnutrition and have extremely painful joints. Like many diseases, nutrition and exercise plays a big role in keeping bodies strong to fight each crisis. In a study in Benin, they have shown that health interventions has dropped the mortality rate of SCD in children to that of other diseases. That to us was enough information to set this project into action with the super food moringa. 

With this knowledge we have formed a holistic program with educational curriculum and also using moringa to provide critical nutritional support. This project also facilitates an income producing opportunity for impoverished families who are dealing with a very vulnerable child who needs medical intervention.  

Peter Kithene Founder of Mama Maria Clinic and Hospital has donated two acres of land around the clinic being made available for moringa planting and harvesting, for the families who have registered as a member of the Sickle Cell Warrior Muhuru Bay Chapter.

As part of the Moringa Tree Project, Asembo Kar Geno’s training under Raphine Muga on using moringa as a food source is training the families and has covered topics such as planting methods (including demonstrations), ideal growing conditions, pruning, harvesting seeds and leaves, processing the powder from leaves, the plant’s nutritional and medicinal benefits, and recipes. Seedlings were given to each of the participants and the trees are being planted as funding will allow around the compound. He is currently working with the clinic director Silas Nguru to prepare land to support another 200 more saplings that we hope to plant.

The planting of the trees and the camaraderie is crucial for families who feel a sense of isolation in a community where disease in the family is seen as a curse, and for whom feeding and nourishing their children is a constant challenge. Our aim is to get families talking so they can share and unload their burdens, plant trees and see their children's health improve.  

Thank you for your continued help with planting this health promoting tree. 

Shana Greene, Village Volunteers

child and baby with Sickle Cell Disease at clinic
child and baby with Sickle Cell Disease at clinic

Dear Donors,

Every year, almost 300,000 babies are born with a form of Sickle Cell Disease. The majority are in Sub Saharan Africa with a very high rate of childhood mortality. Even in the absence of medication, health education has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing mortality in young children. A  pilot program in Benin has shown that with good nutriton and health interventions, it is possible to reduce mortality among African children to the same level as other children. Moringa with its powerhouse nutrition, and protein higher than soybean meal is an important health interventions that will provide nessesary nutrients that are missing in the diets of the children in these areas plagued by poverty. 

Partnering with Dr. Marie Ojiambo, we will be launching our Sickle Cell Anemia Initiative this month by holding a Kick it with Kenya, public health awareness soccer tournament. Our goal is to support families who are dealing with a sick and dying child through support groups. Our first Sickle Cell Strong Muhuru Bay Chapter will be planting two acres of moringa trees as a means to nourish those affected by Sickle Cell Disease as well as the children who are suffering from malnutrition. 

The women in Muhuru Bay who have children with Sickle Cell Anemia will be maintaining the trees, powdering the leaves and selling some of the harvest to help support their families. 

We are excited to marry three of our initiatives with an integrated, holistic program approach.

Thank you,

Shana

Links:

Dear Donors,

We are just so happy that we are working with the Kar Geno Women's Group in Siaya, Kenya. Kar Geno translated from the local language, Luo, means Center for Hope, it was formed to empower women and youth through self-help initiatives. These women meet on the tenth of every month to discuss arising challenges and community issues and to explore and share ideas. They run several activities from handcrafts made from water hyacinth, to girl child education empowerment, farming, and the Moringa project. These resourceful women also do table banking which is a funding strategy where members meet once every month, place their savings, loan repayments and other contributions on the table and then borrow immediately either as long term or short term loans.

We marvel at the resourcefulness that they took with the moringa tree project and therefore were able to successfully deliver dried moringa for feeding programs and to increase the nutrition for the children in this village that struggles with poverty. They not only grew the trees but were diligent about learning how to make powdered moringa and efficiently and effectively providing us with moringa tree powdered so we can provide to feeding programs in the poorest regions in Kenya. 

We would love to expand this project even more not only to support the work of Kar Geno but to help those children who struggle with malnutrition. If not caught early, children will not have the same intellectual and growth capacity which is often tragic. Our goal is to spread the work of Kar Geno by purchasing their excess powdered moringa, and to grow more trees where malnutrition is widespread. 

Thank you for you generosity.

Shana Greene

 

 

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Organization Information

Village Volunteers

Location: Seattle, WA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.villagevolunteers.org
Project Leader:
Shana greene
Seattle, WA United States
$11,909 raised of $30,000 goal
 
182 donations
$18,091 to go
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