The great rift valley, forests, a volcano, lakes, baboons and zebras were some of the sights traveling to and from Nakuru.
Evans (HEARTs program manager) needed to check out the land and talk with a small community who would like us to help them get a greenhouse built on the pre-school’s land. Parents of the pre-schoolers will take care of the greenhouse. Alice and I went along to meet people and see how we might help. Besides being a new RN, she has 2 masters in agriculture.
25 parents and teachers met us with singing and dancing as we drove in. 6 moms carried their babies wrapped on their backs. They wanted to let us know that this greenhouse is important to them. They emphasized that though the land is green today, it is only green for about 3 months of the year.
The purpose of this project is to avoid malnutrition. The food will feed the pre-schoolers, then the families and also will be sold for cash. Already they are growing on the land maize for ugali and sukumuwiki (kale). When lunchtime came around the children lined up for sukumuwiki which they grew and ugali which they bought. Now contrast that scene with a typical pre-schoolers lunch in the US. What did you pack for your kids? What did the school feed them?
I felt much joy as they listened attentively as I spoke about Nutrition.
- Praise God for the beauty of Nakuru, may He bless the crops
- Keep eating sukumuwiki (kale) it is very nutritious (Vit A, C & folicin)
- Breastmilk only 4-6 months for the babies
- Record height and weight of kids. Keep one card for each kid in plastic.
- Young children need to eat frequently
- Eat Energy foods – their staple, ugali
- Boosting the Energy food with fats, nuts, seeds
- Add to that Body Building foods (protein)
- Add to protein foods Protecting Foods (fruits, vegies) to decrease disease
- Use cash (e.g. cash crops) to purchase Quality Foods, avoid sugar, soda
The women were pleased to bring me out to the field and teach me about what they have done. There I also let them all feel my hair. One lady said that they have never met white people before. The maize was in heaps. After fully drying they will have it milled and it will supply them with 3 – 6 months of ulgali.
Another month until this heap will be harvested.
The few fathers who could make it there were awesome, I had the pleasure of meeting with them as well. I believe there is much hope as the men of this community take their roles as the moral leaders. With Christian values acted out first in their families, then community their land will be blessed.
Joseph, Benard, Simon, Jeremiah, Winfred, Benjamin
They hope the future success of this project will go beyond the pre-school and they will replicate it throughout the area. May this community of Nakuru work diligently and wisely, may their lives be emulating Christ and may His glory be magnified throughout all of Kenya.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. I Peter 4:10 NKJ