Project #9691

Lifesaving Plumpy'Nut for Children in the Sahel

by Edesia, Inc.
Shipping out lifesaving cargo
Shipping out lifesaving cargo

Just yesterday our Shipping and Logistics Manager, Andrew Kamara (pictured at right above), woke up at 4 a.m. and hit the road from his home in eastern Connecticut, leaving before his wife and three young children were even awake yet.

He made the three and half hour drive to Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, because he wanted to make sure everything went smoothly with a shipment of about 34,020 cartons of lifesaving Plumpy'Sup (produced and packaged in our Rhode Island factory) that will soon be on their way to Cameroon (one of several countries in the Sahel region of Africa) in a giant cargo ship. 

Inside the 34,020 cartons of Plumpy'Sup there are over five million portable foil packets, enough to help about 85,000 severely malnourished children under the age of five recover their health and build up their immune systems to make them even more resilient against future shocks. This "miracle" food – a squeezable fortified peanut paste – is desperately needed in refugee camps for Nigerians who fled the Boko Haram insurgency.  

Plumpy'Sup is similar to Plumpy'Nut. It has the same number of calories (500) and similar mix of vitamins and minerals but it is made with soy flour instead of nonfat dry milk powder. This difference gives it the classification of a Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food (RUSF). It can be given to children in emergencies with any form of acute malnutrition, with or without a doctor's diagnosis, unlike Plumpy'Nut, which is only given out after a doctor has confirmed the diagnosis of severe acute malnutrition. This is why Plumpy'Sup is often used in emergency situations, such as the Haiti earthquake or the refugee crisis in Cameroon. 

There are many steps that go into every shipment. With this report we wanted to give you a peak behind the scenes to show you how people like Andrew are going the extra mile every day to help end the suffering caused by malnutrition.

We thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to Edesia. You help make our organization stronger and, more importantly, you help raise awareness that malnourished children everywhere are most worthy of our focus and attention. 

Grew up The Gambia, now saves lives at Edesia
Grew up The Gambia, now saves lives at Edesia

At Edesia, our dynamic team, hailing from all corners of the world, work side-by-side to accomplish our shared goal of helping ease the suffering of malnourished children.

This is TJ, who grew up in The Gambia (the smallest country in The Sahel) before leaving his parents behind to pursue a better education in the United States. He has worked with us at Edesia for more than five years, always lifting us up with his dedication, positivity, and the utmost respect he shows to everyone, no matter where they are from. 

In this photo, taken just last month, TJ is about to enter onto the production floor area, wearing all of the necessary protective gear needed inside our clean room, where we make lifesaving Plumpy'Nut. In July, TJ helped us make 10,000 cases of Plumpy'Nut that is now on its way to Mali, one of the largest countries in The Sahel. Thanks to donors like you, we can produce Plumpy'Nut to send to countries in need.

In Mali and throughout the vast region of the Sahel, the annual lean season continues to place stress on families. It's the time of year when nearly 30 percent of the population struggles to have enough food to eat. That means far too many children will go to the clinic, withering away from lack of nutritious food. 

In the fishing village of Tako in Mali, a local mother, Fatima, shares her struggles.  “I’m really finding it hard to feed my family this year. We rely on fishing here, but the water is low and there are almost no fish left in the river. The granaries are empty,” she said. Her 10-month-old daughter, Binto, who was diagnosed as malnourished, is given a course of Plumpy’Nut, which will give her all the micronutrients she needs to make a full recovery.

Ten thousand cases is enough to completely turnaround the situation for as many as 10,000 children like Binto diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition. In about seven weeks, the child who was once too weak to smile, will be bursting with playful giggles. That's the ultimate goal that motivates TJ and all of us at Edesia.

On behalf of the children who will regain their health because of the miracle of Plumpy'Nut, we thank you for your continued support of our efforts. We are so grateful that you are part of our team.

*names have been changed

Plumpy'Nut for Mali


Mom and Baby in Niger seeking treatment
Mom and Baby in Niger seeking treatment

Thank you for helping us sustain our response for children living under the unimaginable conditions of drought, famine and conflict in the Sahel. Mothers and caregivers travel for miles -- often days -- by foot to seek treatment for their children whose lives hang in the balance. The mom and her baby boy photographed made it to a clinic in Niger. They are getting the grim diagnosis that he is suffering from severe acute malnutrition as measured on the MUAC (mid upper arm circumference) tape. The tape is color-coded which makes it easy to match his condition with the red packaging of Plumpy'Nut, the life-saving ready-to-use food that will treat him and bring him back to health. Fortunately, it's not too late for this sweet boy. Thanks to you he has a more promising future full of hope. 

As we continue to expand on our mission, we are thrilled to share with you our new video, Every Step of the Way. This video poignantly tells the story of Edesia's work through the eyes of Navyn Salem, our Founder and CEO, who recently traveled to Liberia and Sierra Leone with two of her most dedicated colleagues who once fled those countries in fear of losing their lives during war and unrest. Navyn filmed this with the desire to take supporters, like you, on a field trip to visit clinics treating children suffering from malnutrition with the products we make in our factory in Rhode Island. In this video you can see the impact of your generosity on the lives of the children at the clinics. Her hope is that we convey to you how urgent the needs are and our commitment to doing more.  

"Every Step of the Way" was first screened at the grand opening celebration of Edesia's new state-of-the-art facility in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, earlier this month. From our new facility we will be able to extend our reach to up to two million children each year and launch new products to serve other vulnerable populations. Together we can favorably tip the scales in the delicate balance between life and death, and one by one, turn each story of despair into one of hope. Thank you for being a part of this story and our journey.


2015 was truly an incredible year for Edesia. In our humble little factory in Providence, Rhode Island, we broke all of our old records and helped one million malnourished children along the way.

Six years ago when we opened Edesia's first factory, images of Haitians desperate to overcome the tragic earthquake kept our hearts racing while we worked relentlessly to fill orders going to Port-au-Prince. Now we're working around the clock to ship orders to Syria and Ethiopia and dozens of other countries in deep crisis. We're moving as fast as ever, because severely malnourished children can't wait.

Edesia 2.0 is finally here, which means in the year to come and beyond, we can help more malnourished children than ever before. If you aren't up to speed on what "Edesia 2.0" means, let me explain. For most of 2015, builders were hard at work, constructing a brand-new, state-of-the-art factory for Edesia in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. We got the keys last week. We're celebrating our grand opening in a big way on May 6, 2016.

A brand-new factory — with the potential to help two million malnourished children a year — is a beautiful thing. For the first time, we'll have loading docks connected to our very own warehouse. There’s an innovation center where expanded research and development efforts will help us find new ways to reach more people with our ready-to-use foods. The quality lab, which we rely on to keep our products safe, is about three times the size of the one we use now.

After my team relocates to Edesia 2.0 in the spring, we will have more space to brainstorm answers to the complex questions that keep our hearts racing, but really, our main goal in moving was always to create a more lean and efficient factory. The more we reduce our costs, the more malnourished children we can reach with the same dollar—and this is the equation that drives the humanity of what we do.

Thank you again for being part of Edesia's tireless efforts to not only build a new factory but a new world where no child is malnourished.

Navyn Salem, Founder and CEO

P.S. Not only did we build a new factory, we also built a new logo and a new website. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Your support saves the lives of vulnerable children who live in one of the most volatile climates on earth, the Sahel. The growing season of the Sahel got off to a poor start as a result of this year's powerful El Nino. Surrounding areas, impacted by the Ebola crisis and conflict, strained valuable resources that would have otherwise provided a safety net for what is anticipated to be a long lean season.  

1-year-old Naomi, whose life was saved after being treated for Severe Acute Malnutirion (SAM), clearly illustrates the impact of your contributions.  She was able to make a full recovery through treatment with Plumpy'Nut.

Naomi was treated with Plumpy’Nut, a peanut-based ready-to-use therapeutic food, and to the surprise of her mother and other family members, Naomi became healthy again. "I used to wonder what magic was in the treatment that made her recover so soon,” says Frances, Naomi's mother. “I was so surprised about the improvement in her look, just a few weeks after she started eating those packets.”

Nearly one half of all deaths in children under 5 are attributable to undernutrition which translates to about three million children each year. -- UN Source.

Thanks to you, we are saving children like Naomi so they are able to grow and thrive as all children should. Thank you for your ongoing support to the children of the Sahel.




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Organization Information

Edesia, Inc.

Location: North Kingstown, RI - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Missy Walker
North Kingstown, Rhode Island United States

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