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Re: [learningfromeachother] Full Belly Project: Am Interested for Kenya and Africa/Kenya-Nigeria links/COL-PROTEIN

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  • shankar rajakumar
    Dear Janet Feldman, Andrius, Pam and others, I am raj kumar an development activist from India, Nutrition is a very important issue in India approximately 35%
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 17, 2006
      Dear Janet Feldman, Andrius, Pam and others,
      I am raj kumar an development activist from India, Nutrition is a very important issue in India approximately 35% of the children below 5 years die because of nutrition. This figures should be high for Nigeria and  other African countries. I urge you all to take up this issue urgently.  The depletion of natural resources - extreme poverty and the capacity of the government public distribution system not able to provide necessary food required for the people are the main reasons.
      In the case of HIV/AIDS, nutrition is another major issue - as most of the people living with HIV/AIDS are sick unable to go for a job and earn finally end up not able to have good nutritious food. 
      Hence, I feel it is urgent to start nutrition supplement program for children, women and in HIV context men also should be given.
      I am willing to give you all the support ( Training and writing proposals..etc) on this issue

      Pamela McLean <pam@...> wrote:
      Janet Feldman wrote:

      > ... Andrius has mentioned elsewhere abt Pam and I (and others
      > hopefully) linking our partners-networks- friends in Kenya and Nigeria
      > more closely, and that will be terrific! .......I would also like to
      > say now that there is a grant opportunity from The Commonwealth of
      > Learning--called COL-PROTEIN ...Perhaps we could consider a joint
      > proposal which would involve several countries, linked to local and
      > regional nutrition programs of our partners, and to the MyFoodStory
      > project? I can run this by my COL contact, who has been instrumental
      > in helping Kenyan partners in the GRASSUP NOW initiative, and see what
      > his feedback would be. Pam, in fact, knows him too, and he has
      > interacted as well with OVF (this is Dr Krishna Alluri, a nutrition
      > and education specialist).

      Hi Janet and All

      This is an expression of interest regarding COL-PROTEIN, and some
      additional background information regarding Cawdnet/FF's interest in
      nutrition - FF (Fantsuam Foundation) is a Cawdnet core associate.

      I started writing the information below about FF when Andrius wanted us
      to test an interface with MyFoodStory - then I was interrupted and
      forgot it until now.

      Regarding COL - Yes I am happy to say that I do know Krishna. Our
      relationship is a good illustration of how Cawdnet works - and my role
      as a "pro-active interface" between "bandwidth rich" and "bandwidth
      challenged" individuals/organisations. In June 2003 Chief Gbade Adejumo
      (Chairman of Oke-Ogun Community Development Network) sent me an email
      describing the opening ceremony of the OCDN Info-Centre in Ago-Are (a
      project we had been working on together since we first met at Peter
      Adetunji Oyawale's funeral in February 2001). I posted Chief's report on
      a list that Krishna was reading. Krisha followed up and we exchanged
      more information on-list, then offlist, then by phone. Next time I went
      to Ago-Are I collected specific information at his request.

      I took his formal email request with me on my laptop and showed it to
      various people in the community in Ago-Are. This served both to
      introduce Krishna (and his request for information ) and also as part of
      the informal ICT training that were doing in Ago-Are (in those days
      sending an email involved a two day return trip to the city cyber cafe
      -so very few people had experience of email). The project manager in
      Ago-Are (David Mutua) and I held community meetings and collected
      feedback after the meetings through brief structured interviews which we
      videoed. I used these video recordings (in the wider context of
      additional informal meetings and discussions and personal impressions)
      to ensure the accuracy of my report to Krishna .

      Subsequently Krisha set up a Roundtable meeting in Ibadan at IITA (the
      International Institute of Tropical Agriculture). Various international
      agencies were invited - and little local OCDN was invited too. The
      outcome was an IITA/COL/OCDN collaboration and an agricultural training
      programme delivered through the Ago-Are Information Centre.

      I have actually met Krishna once F2F - he was changing planes at
      Heathrow Airport so I went over to meet him between his flights. He was
      on his way back from Kenya - perhaps in connection with your project.

      Now to the FF nutrition information :

      '''Positive Concern'''

      Positive Concern is a Fantsuam Foundation (FF) project for people living
      with HIV/AIDS. Part of its focus is on nutrition.

      We are concerned with food stories here so I will only mention the
      nutrition side of Positive Concern. I do not have the full picture, just
      parts of the programme that I have come across through my links with
      people at FF.

      First I should introduce FF. It started off as a micro-credit bank. It
      has helped around 5,000 clients (poor rural women) and knows them all
      well. This means that FF is exceptionally well informed about issues
      relevant to the rural poor. As a rule the repayment rates to the
      micro-finance bank are very good, and so, when FF found that people were
      failing to make their usual payments the cause was investigated. It
      turned out to be a result of HIV/AIDS - either clients were ill
      themselves, or they had to support someone who was ill, or find funeral
      expenses, or they had extra dependants as a result of bereavement. FF
      started Positive Concern to support them.

      Twice when I have been at FF the local doctor “Dr Chris” has been
      leading informal training sessions about nutrition as part of Positive
      Concern. I am not sure if these are weekly or monthly sessions. The
      information given at the sessions I attended included basic hygiene,
      appropriate (easily digested) meals for people who were ill, safe water
      to drink, and some practical demonstrations (by Kazanka Comfort) of how
      to make nutritious home-made drinks (we enjoyed sampling them).

      In connection with the nutrition classes FF has also started a “Positive
      Garden” and has plans (funds permitting) for a Positive Kitchen,
      Positive Farm, and Positive Restaurant – all focusing on affordability
      and good nutrition. People at FF are also learning about fish farming
      and have built some fishponds, as this is a good way to provide protein.
      I get news about their progress from time to time. The early months were
      very difficult and they lost their fish stocks for various reasons, but
      things improved as they learnt more.The nutrition programme is important
      for raising the health of local people in general, and for AIDS patients
      in particular.

      One of the most draining things about being part of the close community
      around Fantsuam is the number of deaths – it seems there are always
      bereaved families to visit, arrangements to make, and funerals to
      attend. Poor nutrition plays its part in these deaths. I remember an
      email I got one morning from my friend John Dada, the programmes
      director at FF. John doesn’t usually let things get to him, but on this
      particular morning he had helped a young woman suffering from AIDS – and
      had discovered she had not eaten, because there was no food in her
      house, not even the basic staple food - maize. John wrote about her, and
      related issues. The subject line of his email was “It’s hunger not AIDS”.

      Dr Chris also explained to me about nutrition and AIDS. One of the young
      women I had met at FF was one of Dr Chris’ patients and she died soon
      after I met her. She had been taking drugs for AIDS, acquired elsewhere,
      which he felt had hastened her death. I am not a medical person and so I
      may not use the right words in passing on what Dr Chris said. But he
      explained that the drugs people are given for AIDS have side effects,
      and that for malnourished patients the side effects are much worse than
      in people who are properly nourished. In fact if you are malnourished
      the drugs can worsen your condition and hasten your death. He had feared
      for her life if she turned to the medication too soon, and had wanted to
      help her become better nourished first.

      (I was interrupted here - so no conclusion/summary)

      I think it would be good to include Positive Concern in some way if you
      are doing a nutrition project, and I would be happy to help bring the
      appropriate people together. We try to cascade out training that happens
      at FF to other locations as well, when resources allow, so including
      OCDN and others could also be possible.


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