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Our New Sustainable Nutrition Program in Uganda

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. 

When we visited Karukoba Village in Uganda in August, we were alarmed by how underweight some of the children were. Many of these children get just one meal per day which often consists of beans and posho, or cornmeal. Surely this was an area in which our Nutrition program could make a difference.

Uganda girl carrying water

We decided to implement a program that would not only give the children the food that they need but also be sustainable — in other words, a program that would give the villagers the tools to feed themselves down the road. Part of this plan involves obtaining fruits and vegetables for the children locally to boost the overall economy.

How to make this happen?  Our Sustainable Nutrition program currently offers four possible ways to help.

We hope to provide two chickens per child attending our Believe in Me Kabale school. Once these chickens start laying eggs, the child’s family can then “pay” the school with three eggs a week, which would then be used for the school breakfast/lunch program to give the students more protein.

$20 purchases two chickens for fresh eggs

A honeybee hive would not only provide honey for the kids but also become a source of revenue as honey can be sold at the market.

$20 purchases a honeybee hive

Because the soil in the region is so depleted, a pig would supply the necessary manure to help fertilize crops and therefore increase the crop yield.

$85 purchases a pig

Cows will be able to provide fresh milk for these children, most of whom have never had fresh milk in their lives.

$650 purchases a cow

We have already purchased one cow for the village who recently gave birth to a baby calf — so we are on our way to a small dairy! Several more are needed to make sure that we can continue to supply much-needed milk for the kids.

As we mentioned above, most of the children have never had milk before. We are thrilled that the cow we bought for the village is now producing a lot of milk, so the children have started getting some each day. Here you can see them patiently waiting their turn for a drink.

Now the children are receiving two meals a day at school:  both a light breakfast and a hot lunch, including items like rice, beans, avocado, and bananas. (Look at all those banana peels in the corner!)

Did you know that banana peels make great compost which will in turn build soil quality? Another use for banana peels is that they can also be fed to pigs.

These children were very underweight when we visited in August, so we hope that the next time we weigh them in December we will see some real gains and growth!

Chickens, bees, pigs, cows…all work together in a tangible way to create a long-term Sustainable Nutrition program to help these children get the head start they need.  We’d love you to join with us to make a long-term difference in their health.

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