02 June 2007

Agricultural and business training for rural women to combat malnutrition

I'm working an a nutrition project, to help combat malnutrition in my health district by the introduction of soy cultivation and the trainer of nurses and community health workers in malnutrition. Again, former sources used by PCVs for funding (USAID small project assistance grants, british high commission) are no longer available.
So I'm asking for your help.
This project is being done through Peace Corps Partnership, a program through which Peace Corps Volunteers from around the world sollicit donations for work. Projects are approved by PC Cameroon and PC headquarters in Washington. Donations can be in any amount, and any money not used/if the project for some reason does not come to completion - will be returned. The project is fully planned and supervised by the PCV (me), and a detailed report of work and funds used is required at the completion of the project. (For more details - link to my site on PCP - https://www.peacecorps.gov/resources/donors/contribute/projdetail.cfm?projdesc=694-082&region=africa
Please help, if you can. A small amount in the States can go very, very far in Cameroon.

The basic idea is that we're using the introduction of soy cultivation into the region; through women's agricultural groups, to combat malnutrition, train local nurses in managed care of severe malnutrition, train women as nutrition outreach workers and in basic business practices, and culminate with a soy fair for the women's agricultural groups to showcase soy and soy products. Soy cultivation has already been shown to be successful from an agricultural perspective; now it's about teaching people how to incorporate it into local foods. In terms of funding, this project doesn't need much. Most of the funds will be used for the trainings, for the creation of a nutrition manual for nurses, and for promoting the soy fair. I've already started this project - soy is growing! Each woman who received a quantity of soy (along with basic nutrition/soy cultivation education) signed a contract to reimburse twice that quantity of seed from her harvest. (Soy produces quite prodigiously). That way, we will have a permanent soy seed bank in the district to keep the cultivation going.
Malnutrition is a major problem in my area - almost every child under 5 who comes into the hospital has some form of malnutrition or nutritional deficiency. Nurses are not trained in the care of malnutrition, nor in the nutritional prevention of it. I think that this project could be an important step in combatting this issue in the Mvangan (my) health district.
Thank you.

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