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