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This project is a follow-up to the tremendously successful Moringa Ride – Togo: A Move to Reduce World Hunger which was completed in late 2009 under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer William Vu. In that project, 13 villages in Togo were visited by a team consisting of Peace Corps volunteers and nationals. Hundreds of people were taught to use and cultivate the Moringa tree and were given seeds to begin their own gardens.
The Moringa tree, commonly know as the “Miracle Tree”, is seen to be an important tool to help combat malnutrition. Its leaves are extremely high in nutritional value, and almost every part can be used for food or for some other beneficial use. The seeds can be used to filter pollutants from water to make it potable.
The cultivation of the Moringa tree also plays a very important role in the management of land and the control of the water cycle. Reforestation reduces the erosion that pollutes waterways. The root structure of the trees helps preserve the moisture in the soil, and aids in building a clean ground water supply.
Due to a lack of financial means and the arid climate, the northern part of Togo suffers the most acute problem of malnutrition throughout the country.
This project is to start a Moringa tree plantation in a small village in the Savannah region of Togo. The objective is to introduce Moringa leaves and powder into the local market on a grand scale, and ultimately to alleviate the acute malnutrition that is common to the region.
Mango and Leucena trees will be grown alongside the Moringa trees, in an effort to aid in the reforestation in the region, and for additional nutritional diversity.
In addition, a literacy program will be undertaken as a subsidiary project, with profits from the sale of Moringa trees used to fund an annual training program.
By starting a Moringa plantation, the community will be presented with an affordable option to ensure their dietary needs. The plantation, run by a large number of village women, will become a visible model of what can be accomplished.
Once the trees are planted, women will be trained to manage the distribution and business side of the plantation. The business will function as a nonprofit organization, with all revenues returning back to the community.
Project funds will be used to purchase all the seeds, tools, and supplies necessary to start the plantation.
The community will contribute to the project by providing the labor necessary to get the plantation underway.
The project will be managed by two local trainers, with the active participation of 100 village women.
Once the harvest begins, the women will be responsible for directly transporting the leaves to the market for sale.
Direct beneficiaries will be the women participants and their families, totalling over 600 people. In addition, there will be the indirect benefit to the people in the local communities, numbering in the thousands, in making available the significant dietary benefit of the Moringa tree, and thereby impacting on malnutrition.
The plantation will be a stepping stone to the widespread use of Moringa. The education in the use of the moringa in the family diet, the business training, and the literary program, serve together as a tremendous opportunity for the empowerment of local women.
Upon approval of this project, William immediately reported:
I just got a chance to go to our regional capital today to make the preliminary purchases for our nursery. The women in my village are ready to work.
This excellent project fits directly within the Water Charity model in that we were able to be instrumental in getting a well-planned project underway at once. It will have impact far beyond the financial amount needed to start the project in its impact on the public health of the region.
This project has now been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.
We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer William Vu of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by William and/or those of his counterpart PCVs in Togo.
This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion of this project, CLICK HERE.
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