Vakon October 2011


Post: Vakon
Date(s) of project:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Brief description of Project:

This project was a long time in the making. For many months now, my work partners at my NGO have been interested in learning more about moringa and its uses. And since the RCH IST back in April, I was looking for an opportunity to invite Peace Corps facilitator Kantos to lead a workshop with some of the women in my community. During PST24 Kantos described to me the type of moringa workshops he does with women's groups in Lokossa, and after meeting with my work partners, we decided a moringa workshop could be a great way to invigorate community participation in the village of Kouve, where I have recently restarted a baby weighing program.

Although not many people were familiar with the name 'moringa', the tree is very common in my community – known by the goun word 'kpadjima' - and people often use the leaves for herbal teas and traditional remedies for headaches. Teaching people how to use this readily available resource in new ways, therefore, both builds capacity and ensures sustainability. Our workshop delved into both nutritional and healing properties of the leaves, roots, and other parts of the tree. With Kantos's guidance, the women transformed dry leaves into powder and participated in two cooking demonstrations: one incorporated the powder with grilled soy and corn, the other incorporated the fresh leaves into a common sauce with rice. Both meals were designed for the nutritional needs of young children, and have been shown to be very effective in nutritional recuperation.

The focus of the workshop was active participation on the part of the women; this way, the participants were more likely to internalize the new knowledge and techniques. We also profited by weighing babies while the women were cooking, thereby underlining the importance of good nutrition for proper growth and development.

Though Kantos will not likely be back any time soon, I am in a good position to follow up and reinforce everything he taught, since I will continue to conduct monthly babyweighings with this same group of women. Kantos encouraged me to continue to stress the importance of moringa for mothers with babies below the normal weight, and to reward mothers who can show me that they've been using the powder or fresh leaves at home.

Number of people involved:

# of
# of Service Providers (work partners, Project co-organizers,
technicians, animators, etc.)
Women over 24 40 1 PCV, 1 animatrice
Men over 24 1 facilitator, 1 work partner, 1 community organizer
Girls 15-24
Boys 15-24
Girls under 15
Boys under 15


Item Number Unit Cost Total Cost
Tomatoes - basket 2 350 700
Piment – basket 2 200 400
Fish 8 500 4.000
Salt - kg 1 200 200
Oil – L 1 550 550
Soy – kg 2 350 700
Rice – kg 5 450 2.250
Sugar - kg 1 600 600
Cement sack 1 100 100
Per diem for workshop facilitator 1 15.000 15.000
Total 24.500

Amount Requested: 24.500

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