Monday, October 1, 2018

Farm-to-fork: Good Life Gardens in Zambia


Our schools' Good Life Gardens are front and center of the "farm-to-fork" movement!  "Farm-to-fork"  supports a direct route for food from the grower to the fork. HealthEd Connect's community health workers pluck luscious leafy greens, onions, and tomatoes from the garden plot right beside the cookshack where they make school lunches. It doesn't get much more "direct" than that!  These are the only vegetables many of these orphans and vulnerable children will receive, and they provide necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development. Furthermore, teachers use the gardens as a learning tool, and as the children care for the gardens they learn practical farming skills and scientific concepts. 

So much goodness from a simple tire garden!


Note for curious gardeners: These recycled tires attract sunlight and warmth directly to the roots of the vegetables, resulting in rapid growth and an extended growing season. They also provide excellent drainage in the heavy clay soil of Zambia, and encourage more rapid decomposition of fertilizers. Last but definitely not least, they reduce the amount of weeds and deter some destructive bugs. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Double everything!

Over 150 moms, and two hundred kids, showed up to greet us under a tree at Matete, Malawi yesterday.  We were especially touched by this  young mother who had the double task of feeding and carrying adorable little twins around. She and her friends walk long distances every month, even in the rain, to get their babies weighed and immunized and then wait their turn sitting on the ground to under a tree. Most carry babies weighing 15 to 20 pounds --- she carries double that weight.

This is one of the areas that desperately needs a shelter with a secure metal roof for a meeting place.  Definitely a potential site for HealthEd Connect to provide a modest building for our Sinkhani health workers.  If you're interested in helping out let us know.  The need is obviously there and crying out..

Monday, September 24, 2018

Dedicated moms

We had the privilege today of meeting over 50 of the moms and babies the Sinkhani in Malawi work with every week.  Even though today was not the regular baby weighing day, they came just to greet us.   When I thanked them for coming I said, "I doubt any of you came in a Range Rover but only by your two feet."  They laughed and readily agreed.

The biggest need they expressed was for simple drugs like aspirin and Tylenol to be available at the government health worker post.
They said many times when they walk to obtain medicine they find none available. Being a mom anywhere is not an easy task but add scarcity of water, no transportation and very little health care and it becomes even more onerous.  These ladies deserve deep respect and admiration.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Against all odds

These sweet little twins, Mercy and Sarah, shown here with their dad and a Kafaw, have somehow managed to survive against all odds.  Their mother died when they were 3 months old leaving an ill-equipped father to raise them and 3 older brothers.  When the babies came to the attention of the kafwa, blankets, modest baby clothes, food and lots of love were provided.  The kafwa made sure they were enrolled in our school when they were old enough.

The father was very welcoming when we visited their humble little  temporary home yesterday.  It is families like this that motivate the kafwa to keep volunteering year after year and trudging mile after mile.  In the case of the twins, I suspect the kafwa were literal life savers.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Volleyball

The HealthEd Connect team arrived in Zambia yesterday and is now sharing in a training for 30 community people who want to mobilize to empower people. They are calling themselves "Kabomba" which is defined as someone who is a servant leader.

Everyone likes to have fun so Hannah Billings is teaching the rules of volleyball to be followed by character building activities.  This is a great program to engage both boys and girls.  Hannah even brought nets, balls, and character building lessons to initiate programs.  Now they will have an additional sport to add to their beloved football (soccer)!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

HIV Continues its Havoc



Client and mother




The UNITED NATIONS is warning that the world is becoming complacent about HIV which continues to spread in spite of encouraging progress.  Approximately1.8 million new HIV infections occurred in 2016.  The good news is that's a decline from 2.1 million new infections in 2015.  We're gaining ground in some ways but still have a long way to go. The continued impact on those already infected is sobering and sad.   I recently received the following email from our faithful Kafwa home-care workers in Chipulukusu. 



Kafwa visiting new client
 Today together with my colleagues visited one new client.. Particular details about him are that he is suffering from TB and on ART(HIV/AIDS).  [He] is a resident of chipulukusu and he is staying with the mother as can be seen in the picture.
Life has been very difficult as the mother is a widow and the only way for their survival is through the sell [sale] of vegetables. Sometimes when the condition of the patient deteriorates [he] sleeps without food as the mother cannot do the usual business. KAFWA came to learn this from other members of the neighborhood who are also aware of our existence and that [we] would adopt this client. Today he was visited and was presented with mealie meal,a sugar about 2Kg and Blue seal Vaseline to help his pealing skin.

Many thanks to the healthedconnect team who has remained supportive partners with regard this noble call.


-Joyce Ngosa 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Honoring Women On Labor Day

On this Labor Day, HealthEd Connect honors all women laborers around the world who contribute their skill, time, and energy to support their families! 

According to the World Bank, over half of women in Nepal contribute to the paid labor force in jobs ranging from simple farming to teaching or government work. We met this quiet seamstress on a visit to a village in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal. She helps to support her family by traveling from home to home, living with a family for a few weeks to provide for their sewing needs for the year before moving on to the next family. Spending her days in the cool shade of the front porch, she skillfully operates her portable, hand-driven sewing machine. A seamstress might be of a different caste than the family she is living with, but is treated warmly as part of the family. 

A hard-working seamstress (right) sits with the lady of the house.