Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tip of the Iceberg

Malnutrition in the developing world has been described as an iceberg: acute malnutrition cases (low weight-for-height or weight-for-age) representing only a small portion of those whose nutritional status is negatively influencing their ability to develop into productive members of society. Experts acknowledge there are masses of children who are stunted (low height-for-age), desperately crying out from beneath the surface. This is indeed the case in 3 sub-counties in Bundibugyo, where results of the anthropometric survey WHM conducted in January reveal that 45% of the children we measured had a height-for-age < -2 z-scores from the median of an adequately nourished American reference population.

As we provide families with food aide such as dairy goats, chicken eggs, or groundnut paste, it is our hope that social norms will change so that feeding young children high-protein foods is acceptable. Training on how to care for dairy goats and chickens will increase feasibility and access such foods. Decentralized feeding centers will also help to increase general awareness of the importance of growth monitoring. Finally, we plan to provide additional community education through recipe trials and community dramas. Though these efforts seem small relative to the enormity of the problem, we have hope!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13

“You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor.” Psalm 68:9&10

Easter Goats

The goats have now all been vaccinated and have their moving permits. The Tuesday after Easter we hope to have them travel here and be distributed. In the meantime, more training of reciepients has been going on, shelters are being built, and the field for fodder is being cultivated. The rains have started, which allows parisites to thrive, but they also help the growth of the fodder. The fodder is made up of grasses and legume plants (for protein).

Passing on of the gift

This past week, two goat have been returned to the project. Each family that receives a goat returns the first born female to the program. That goat is then given to another needy family. This helps make the program sustainable and blesses the community.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Chicks!

Corn-Soymeal, Beans & Oil

Yesterday was a glorious day where 115 Kwejuna (HIV positive) mothers came to the World Harvest Mission Community Center to receive food supplements for themselves and their families. This distribution continued right where we left off last year, and if you hadn't known that our previous food supplier, the UN's World Food Program (WFP), has left Bundibugyo, it would not have been evident. With some 100+ corn-soymeal blend bags and 70 containers of cooking oil left over from WFP; the generous support of a couple in my home church in New York City (Redeemer Presbyterian Church) which is enabling us to buy food locally; and the competence of Donato, our Ugandan colleague, who travelled to nearby Kasese (4 hours away) and purchased over 3,000 kilos of beans; we were able to serve our mothers as if it was business as usual. What a joy it was to see these women coming from near and far, babies in tow, defying the stigma attached to those living with HIV here, hauling home food for their families for the next 5 weeks!

"So do not worry, saying 'what shall we eat?'...for... your heavenly Father knows that you need them." Matt 6:31-32.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The chicks have arrived!

“…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…” Matthew 23:37

Would you believe that this passage was in my daily Bible reading on March 8, the very day the chicks arrived?! I praise God that all the chicks arrived safely and soundly from Kampala on Thursday evening around 9pm. Though we ordered only 200, today after vaccinating the chicks against New Castle disease, Basaija, our chicken keeper, counted 203 chicks! That means Ugachick gave us 4 free chicks (sadly one died on Friday morning). The chicks look healthy and happy, they are running around the brooder, and even starting to develop wings! In the brooder, there are: four special chicken ‘drinkers’ which provide the chicks with glucose-spiked water; pots filled with charcoal and fire at night to provide heat; apple trays filled with chicken mash (food); and lanterns to provide light all night so that the chicks can see their food. Basaija sleeps in the coop to make sure the heat source does not catch the coop on fire, and to make sure that the chicks stay warm, well-watered, and well-fed. Keep praying for the overall well-being of these chicks as they grow, that their eggs would be a source of Jesus's healing shalom for children here in Bundibugyo.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Goat Delay

The goat distribution will be pushed back yet again. This time because of new moving restrictions on animals. Last year there was Foot and Mouth Disease in Masaka (the district that boasts the best and most dairy goats). The movement ban was lifted last November, but now goats must wait 3 weeks after their vaccination before they can travel. We’re now looking at mid-April. Please pray for the goats to come without another delay and come in full health.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Buck breeding station

Last Week: Materials and Empty Field

This Week: Partially constructed goat sheds

The happy sound of hammering outside my widows has been common lately. A dairy goat breeding station is being constructed on World Harvest Mission property (actually my side yard). We have a house for a male, a large house for a herd of our local females that we hope to breed hybrids from, and a house for the visiting local female goats that belong to community members who wish to breed with this dairy male. I already have a raised goat house for my hybrid females who we hope to breed and then distribute to needy families who can benefit from the milk. It seems like the 19th of March the 62 goats will travel by truck on a full day’s journey to reach here. Then on the 20th, 44 people will come to receive their goats. The rest will remain behind for future distributions. Pray for smooth transition and a huge milk supply.