Pcv 5 October 2009


Brief Project Description:

The Beninese Association for Moringa (BAM) held its first inaugural meeting on August 29th in Parakou. This meeting was attended by moringa growers, health officials and Peace Corps participants to help generate a stronger network among moringa parties throughout Benin. This network will connect growers of the northern and southern regions to increase the quantity and quality of moringa throughout the country.

Abundant with vitamins A, B, C, iron and potassium, moringa leaves are important for nursing and/or pregnant mothers, and is fundamental to children's development. Increasing the distribution of moringa products across the country in order to reach this family audience is an important objective of BAM, and the participation of Beninese women and children is crucial to the augmentation of moringa in Benin. Many groups of women gardeners are involved with the production of food for the family, and moringa is an additional plant which can easily be implemented into the women's seasonal crop. As the females of Benin are responsible for buying and preparing the plant's products and teaching their children about the benefits, the development of a moringa network in Benin ensures that moringa products and information of the benefits are passed to all members of the Beninese community.

The costs for this meeting pertain to phone call expenses for cold calling Peace Corps volunteers, growers, distributors and health officials; refreshments (non alcoholic) and snacks; name tags; equipment rental and transport.

Dates of Project: August 29th
Number of People Involved: 28 (including 4 women) in attendance at meeting.

Female Participants:
1. Christine Meeuwsen PCV; Guiniagourou working on 4+ hectars of land with 4,000 moringa plants. Her role as a female volunteer creates a stronger bond between herself and the women groups in her community who grow, buy and cook moringa. With these groups she is teaching how to dry moringa leaves in preparation for consumption.
2. Jennifer Morgan PCV; Angaradebou working at the community's local health center growing moringa and selling powder.
3. Kaili Mumme PCVL; As a Peace Corps volunteer leader, Mumme is involved with facilitating moringa participation and projects with the female Peace Corps ommunity. This link helps promote village projects incorporating female work with females at a village level.
4. Safia - local Beninese of Angaradebou; Nurse at community hospital who actively participates in the distribution of morigna product in and around her community.

Male Participants:
2 PCVs and 22 Host Country Nationals

Item Number Unit Price Cost
Phone Credit – MTN & BBcom 5 5.000 CFA; 2.900 CFA; 500 CFA; 700 CFA 9.100 CFA
Chair Rental 30 50 CFA 1.500 CFA
Chair Transport 1 800 CFA 800 CFA
Name tag pins 1 packet 400 CFA 400 CFA
Name tag Paper/Tape 1 packet 550 CFA 550 CFA
Nuts 2 bags 1.350 CFA; 775 CFA 2.125 CFA
Popcorn 1 bag 200 CFA 200 CFA
Beverages (non alcoholic) 40 250 CFA 10.000 CFA
Total Cost 24.675 CFA

Amount Requested: 24.675 CFA

The next meeting for BAM will take place in November of 2009 at which point participants will form a board of representatives through a voting process. On BAM's list of 25 Host Country National members, 7 are women. Via email and phone calls BAM has confirmed the participation and interest of these female representatives in the moringa network and look forward to their attendance at the November 09' meeting. In addition, BAM continues to actively recruit a broad range of Beninese women who to represent their female counterparts in village communities and local health centers.


GAD Coordinator: This proposal is a lot stronger than the previous version. The budget is correct and within GSP limits. She will be sending receipts down on the shuttle so we can verify. I still wish they had been able to get more women, particularly HCNs to participate in the meeting, especially since moringa is so linked to women’s health and many women profit economically from growing and transforming it. BUT, I’m glad they seem to be aware of the issue and have actively recruited female members of the group. Maria, do you think it would be appropriate to encourage that half their board be female? Or would a quota system not work in the Beninese context? In any case, recommend funding once the receipts are received.
GAD Finance: Could the participations of female HCNs be increased through Safia’s contacts? Does Christine know female community members that can join BAM? Also, it would be nice to have an age breakdown of the HCNs involved in BAM. Recommend funding.
GAD Specialist: Recommend funding too if receipts are handed in and questions answered.

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