Nutrition

NUTRITION

Please help us to provide a daily healthy and nutritious meal to all the students of our school in Ballangar.

Malnutrition is widespread in poor, rural communities who often have to travel many miles to find markets where food is overpriced. Recent UN statistics show that over a quarter of children in Senegal and almost a quarter in Gambia suffer from stunting due to malnutrition. Underfed children can’t learn properly at school or realise their potential.

We believe it is vital that people are well nourished across the world. But if they are given the tools and education to improve their own access to food, they can take control and own their success for the future. We strive to help them to help themselves for real developmental sustainability.

We have created a vegetable garden and currently building a farm which supports a school and its community in a village called Ballanghar in Gambia. The compounding beneficial effects of better nutrition mean a brighter future for children eating at least 1 healthy and nutritious meal per day.

We plan to expand its activities to bring even more benefits there and to ensure they will be able to self-fund themselves in the long-run. 

The Project in Facts & Figures

What we purchased with the initial donation:

2000L: the capacity oaf the tank which ensures a reliable supply of water to the pump, 260: the number of school children the farm has supported thus far, 250 chicken to raise each month

Project Origins and Objectives

Originally an Energia per I Diritti Umani project, it started in Summer 2015 in the Ballangar village (Gambia), where we fenced one hectare off and, together with the village’s community we gave birth to our first vegetable garden. Thanks to the harvest of the garden, we managed to enrich children meals with minerals and vitamins, which often lack in traditional African meals.

The ultimate objective of this project is to provide at least 1 meal per day for each child supported, as a well-fed child can not only grow better, they can learn better too. 

 

The challenges we faced and the solutions we came up with

  • Roaming animals can cause many problems for crops. Our durable and cost-effective solution was a sturdy iron fence which now protects the farmed area.
  • Irrigation was a challenge, since rainfall cannot be regularly relied upon and existing local infrastructure needed to be adapted. We implemented a tank, a solar powered pump which now helps ensure access to water when required.
  • Investment was needed to finance the project. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we held collections and fundraising events to raise the necessary funds. We then recruited volunteers to join us during our trip in November 2015.
  • More trips will be scheduled, and we’ll need your help to make them a success! 

 

Next step

Even if the project has been successful, we noticed there are still problems in the village: the monthly cost for materials and seeds and the lack of proteins in the children’s diet. We had to find something more to reach our goal of making them self-sufficient and guaranteeing the children a healthy meal. After consulting with locals, the solution found was to build a poultry farm.

 

You may be wondering why a poultry farm? 

The supplement of chicken in children’s diet increases their protein intake, which they were lacking.

Once grown, chicken can be also sold on the market, to buy different food or garden materials OR to obtain money to manage the vegetable garden.

Finally, chicken provide a lot of natural fertiliser, which can be used to enrich the garden soil.

This new step started in August 2016, when we finished raising the money. We hope the poultry will be finished in December 2016.

matteoNutrition