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Archive for May 7, 2009

Day 59

This week was the implementation of the grant I got through FSD.  It went amazingly well mostly because of the WEAEP staff member leading it.  The grant money I received covered part of the costs and then WEAEP stepped up and covered the rest.  Margaret had done trainings like this at her previous position and was able to replicate it with her women’s group leaders.  It turned into actually more than I had envisioned it being; besides nutrition we were also able to cover health and hygiene, money management, cottage industries, business plans, special nutritional needs of people living with HIV/AIDS and the agricultural aspects of growing soy and sweet potatoes.  We had great turnout, 100% attendance.  Partially, I think that had to do with the fact that we were making a lot of yummy food.  The goal was to work with what the women already know how to make and supplement the ingredients with soy and sweet potatoes to make them more nutritious.  Margaret had actually worked on creating a soy recipe book previously that had been funded by the Gates Foundation (their money does do great things that actually work for the people!!).

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The attendants appreciated the training so much that they christened me with a traditional name Bwibo, which is the name of the local clan.  They all got booklets that they could take home with all the ingredients and took amazingly meticulous notes.  Many hoped to begin their own cottage industry with the skills they learned as well as return to the women’s groups they lead and teach them what they learned. Hopefully WEAEP will be able to replicate this training in other areas since there was such a favorable response from both the staff and the attendants.

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My favorite quotes for the training and the reviews we had them fill out:

“I couldn’t believe my eyes, soy beans were producing milk!”

“Now that we know what to do, let us all not start the same business”

“I will need to get another wife to make all of these recipes” –one of the male group leaders

“Eating this soy will turn me into a muzungu (aka white person)”

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The training was at our Mumias center which was great because I got to see some of the women and babies that participate in our nutrition program again.  I also got to hang out with all of the boys over their lunch breaks; they loved hamming it up for the camera.

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