Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya

by American Foundation for Children with AIDS
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Sustainable Food Project for Children in Kenya
Tomatoes ready for sale
Tomatoes ready for sale

Our first greenhouse in Mombasa continues to produce an innordinate amount of tomatoes for moms to sell at the market and for children to eat.  Beyond the greenhouse walls, kale, spinach, sweet potatos, onions, potatoes, peanuts, and cow pea continue to be harvested, as well.  The excitement is almost too much to bear, as we know that this is a project that is producing much and which is giving hope to many.

But, we can't just stop planning just because our first greenhouse is a huge success!  So, in the spirit of innovation and planning, we are now establishing our first organic greenhouse on a larger track of land in Mombasa.  It is so large, in fact, that we are planning on erecting 10 greenhouses on that land, each with a 1/8 acre of drip irrigation outside the greenhouses.  In these areas outside, we'll have maize, passion fruit, melons, kale, potatoes, onion, and much more. More than food, though, what we are growing is a self-sustaining way for the clinic in Mombasa to function.  With the sales of tomatoes and peppers to hotels frequented by foreigners, the clinic will, in time, be able to sustain itself.  With the sales of other veggies at hugely discounted prices to moms in the programs, new seed can be purchased and the borehole and greenhouses can be maintained while moms earn an income to help their families.  

It's all good.

It's exciting.

It's FANTASTIC.

If you'd like to visit this program to see first hand what you've done by supporting this project, you are welcome to. Go visit the greenhouses, the clinic, the children and families.  Join us on one of our Vacation with a Purpose trips and help us build a house for one of the orphaned children.  Just get in touch with me at tweaver@AFCAids.org and we'll get you on the road to Mombasa, Kenya, where you are touching lives you haven't yet met.  I hope you will meet them, though, and that you'll see the difference you are making.

Harvesting Tomatoes
Harvesting Tomatoes
Passion Fruit
Passion Fruit
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Sometimes we like to dream big.

So, we started dreaming of drilling a borehole in one of the farms we work on in Mombasa, Kenya in an area known as LungaLunga.  This land is 50 acres large and has so much potential for maize, sorghum, potatoes, melons, and all sorts of amazing things to grow.  But, year after year, trial after trial, our crops fail because the rains never come and when they do come, they are just not enough. 

The dreaming began and we decided that we couldn't just dream...we needed to act.  So, this year, we sent funds to our friends in Mombasa to start drilling a borehole that will provide water and nutrients for the plants we want to grow on the land.  The borehole is being dug, friends.  It is happening!  It really is happening.

I find it hard to believe the things that a small organization takes on sometimes.  WHAT in the world made us believe we coudl get a project that costs close to $20k done when we have all the expenses of medicine, food, school fees and supplies, medical equipment, and livestock to deal with?  I think the reason we believe we can do this is dual - faith and hope.  We have the faith to believe that the project will work.  We also have the faith that people will give because they care.  And, we have the faith that the project will be successful and that many, many children will receive good veggies and fruit due to this generosity and hard work.  Where does hope come in?  It is seen all over the faces of tired mothers who want to feed their little ones well, who work hard to provide for their families but yet, cannot affort a tomato.  It is in the handshakes and hugs we receive when we visit - the hope that their children will have a better, more healthy future than they did.  How in the world couldn't we keep that hope alive? 

Well, thanks to you and to so many others, we are doing it.  We are getting that borehole dug, friends, and soon, I'll send you a photo of it, producing water on the scorched land.  Thank you for caring.  Thank you for being part of a dream. Thank you for helping our faith grow and for keeping hope alive.

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Tomatoes!
Tomatoes!

I visited the Mombasa project last week in order to see how the garden/agriculture project is coming along and I left dancing and crying tears of joy.  How incredible to see hard work paying off and to know that good things are happening!

The greenhouse at Portriez has already produced 150lbs of tomatoes, with an additional 200lbs expected to be harvested in the next week.  That is colossal!  Think for a moment that tomatoes are imported to Mombasa because they are impossible to grow in the heat, humidity and poor soil of the region.  It is amazing that we can produce this volume of great tomatoes - tasty, colorful, full of vitamins.  Spinach, kale, moringa, cassava, and sweet potatoes have also been harvested from outside the greenhouse where drip irrigation was set up. 

This small piece of land has been producing food to feed those who just can't afford to purchase at the market.  The food is sold at extremely discounted prices so that there is dignity in the purchase of it.  The bits of money that are made are turned into more seed and to upkeep the greenhouse/farm. 

We want to expand.  We need to expand!  How could we not?  This project is such a success that we must reproduce it in the larger piece of land, producing tomatoes, peppers and other difficult to grow foods.  Our dream? 10 greenhouses.  Yep!  Some of the veggies grown will be sold to hotels and restaurants for profit but the rest will be sold at reduced prices for those children and guardians who need food.  If an orphan cannot afford to pay even that, it will be given to them.

Thank you for making this such a successful project, friends!  It truly was inspirational to see what is going on in Portriez and then, to visit with women and toddlers who are doing great due to good food.  Children are gaining weight.  Things are looking good.

With gratitude and a million smiles,

tanya

samuel harvesting tomatoes
samuel harvesting tomatoes
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Me tasting a tomato from a greenhouse...yum!
Me tasting a tomato from a greenhouse...yum!

Water is a rare commodity in Mombasa, Kenya.  With a drought which has plagued this part of the country for the past 7 years, the land is dry and plants find it hard to grow.  While greenhouses are a wonderful solution to production of good food, they also need water.  The Portriez farm has a borehole, so the greenhouse and garden are doing wonderfully and veggies will be ready to harvest in one month.

The larger piece of land owned by our partners in Mombasa is 50 acres and we'd love to establish 10 greenhouses there.  What is stopping us?  Water.  A borehole must be dug, but this is expensive (approximately $17k).  AFCA is looking for partners who might be interested in helping meet this need.  Maybe you know someone who'd like to donate specifically towards a borehole?  Or, maybe you know someone who has a company who drills these boreholes and who'd like to lend their expertize?  Or, maybe you know someone in an organization who does just this sort of thing and you'd be willing to speak on our behalf so that they will partner with us?  If any of these ring true with you, please don't hesitate to contact me at tweaver@afcaids.org.  I'd love to hear from you so that we can get these other greenhouses up and functioning, to benefit children who need good food in order to stay healthy.

Happy New Year, all of you.  Thank you for helping our kids.

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Friends, during this season of giving, we are giving back a small "thank you" to everyone who makes a $25 (or larger) donation to this particular project.  Will you make a donation today?  And, will you please tell your friends and family about this project so that they, too, will make a small donation that will change how a child eats? 

This particular project is moving forward wonderfully.  Our pilot greenhouse is housing tomato seedlings who look so neat growing straight up.  They will be attached to hanging strings in order to use the space as best as we can, producing fruit for many, many children.  It is our hope that all children in the Mombasa program will receive nutritious food and the training to grow their own one day and that we'll be able to expand the greenhouse project to include 10 additional ones.  All this takes time, but from all reports, things are looking great and we are on the right path.

We thank you for your generosity and hope you'll remember our kids when you use the beautiful wallet we'll send you!

On behalf of our children,

 

tanya

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Organization Information

American Foundation for Children with AIDS

Location: Harrisburg, PA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AFCAids
Project Leader:
tanya weaver
Harrisburg, PA United States
$14,011 raised of $20,000 goal
 
425 donations
$5,989 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG8881

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