Posts Tagged: “Homestead Food Production”

What’s In A Name? Honoring A Legend

little helen keller

Lina with her daughter, Little Helen Keller
Photo: © HKI

Helen Keller once said, “When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” As we approach what would have been Helen’s 134th birthday, we are reminded of her positive impact and lasting legacy through the stories of people whose lives have been transformed by Helen Keller International’s programs.

Lina and her family live in a small village in Indonesia where fish and eggs are rare, expensive, and often reserved for special occasions. Every day Lina’s three children, including her nine-month-old daughter, ate meals that consisted of boiled cassava leaves and papaya flowers, which are low in essential nutrients that help children develop healthy bodies and immune systems. Thanks to Helen Keller International’s Homestead Food Production program, Lina learned how to cultivate a home garden filled with leafy, nutrient-rich vegetables, as well as how to raise chickens and farm catfish.

The Helen Keller International team also taught Lina and other mothers in her village how to prepare the catfish they raised. And not only did the HKI team teach the mothers how to cook their food, but also why- promoting an understanding of the specific nutritional benefits that were to be gained by their families. They cooked catfish porridge with vegetables and learned to prepare other delicious meals that Lina can be sure will help her family grow healthy and strong.  Lina feels empowered by her newly gained knowledge: “Now I can make food for my daughter that is easy to cook, tasty and nutritious, and not too expensive.”

Inspired by the impact of Homestead Food Production on her family’s life and in appreciation for the knowledge she received from Helen Keller International, Lina named her youngest daughter Helen Keller, a tribute to our famous founder.

Honor Helen Keller’s legacy by helping us to continue reaching families like Lina’s with your gift today.

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Global Handwashing Day

This blog was written by Hannah Taylor, a field intern at HKI Bangladesh.

A health Worker teaches a young child and his mother proper handwashing methods. Photo: c. HKI

Around the world, from large urban centers to tiny rural villages, from the United States to Bangladesh, in schools, homes, community and health centers, people are celebrating Global Handwashing Day! Regularly washing hands with soap before or after critical daily activities which spread germs, like after using the toilet or before eating, can lead to reduced instances of many illnesses such as Neglected Tropical Diseases, like trachoma, or diarrhea and several respiratory diseases.

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Categories Asia-Pacific

Making it stick

This blog was written by Hannah Taylor, a field intern with HKI Bangladesh.

Gradute school has made me quite aware of when and how the learning process works best. After hours of long lectures in large auditoriums, I relished those one-on-one meetings with a professor to solidify the content and ask all my questions. On a recent visit to HKI’s Project Laser Beam (PLB), I had the opportunity to see the effect that this unique kind of personalized education can have on family health and nutrition.

Jarna and her daughter at their home

Jarna lives in a small home in Kaligonj, Bangladesh with her husband, her parents-in-law, and her two-year-old daughter. Her husband’s income as a local rickshaw-van puller, approximately 150 taka (~$1.90) a day, supports their entire family. Through Mondelēz International Foundation-sponsored Project Laser Beam, Jarna is attending educational sessions to learn about ways she can provide the best nutrition for her family and contribute fresh produce from her garden, part of the Homestead Food Production program, for the household.

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Categories Asia-Pacific

Packing Up At The Wrong Time

This blog was written by Michael Wilson, field intern at HKI Vietnam. 

As our time in Vietnam winds down, things at HKI Vietnam are doing just the opposite. Since we arrived in Hanoi close to eight weeks ago, things have progressively become busier around the office. The dog days are over here in Hanoi. Since arriving, the staff in Hanoi’s small but productive office have been busy preparing for the implementation of ChildSight® in three provinces starting in August- Ha Dong, Quoc Oai, and Nam Dinh.

HKI Vietnam has also recently received confirmation to begin the Homestead Food Production program here in Vietnam. This is an exciting new venture for Vietnam to now expand their reach and partnerships, starting in the Son La province in the coming months.

It is hard to believe that we will be packing up and leaving the beautiful Hanoi in just a few short days. We have learned so much from the staff at HKI and have enjoyed working on various projects, particularly the materials and surveys used to educate and measure knowledge and Quality of Life of the children enrolled in Vietnam’s ChildSight® program.

We are sad to leave, especially at what seems like such an exciting time the office is in- preparing for the launch of four programs and the hiring of three additional support staff.

Much thanks to all who made this opportunity possible for Casey and I. Of course, it will be hard to leave the Bánh cuốn, Khúc mía, motorbike rides, and the stifling humidity (kidding), but what will be hardest to leave will be the staff at HKI who have taken us in like family and taught and shown us many valuable, unforgettable lessons about their culture and their hearts towards the blind, hungry, and less fortunate people of Vietnam.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Preventing Blindness

Dreaming of cows in rural Bangladesh

This blog was written by Hannah Taylor, a field intern with HKI Bangladesh.

Women in Bangladesh benefit from HKI's Project Laser Beam. Photo: c. HKI

I recently joined the HKI Bangladesh team as a Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition intern as part of my Masters of Public Health program with Columbia University. Like any start to a new adventure in life, I set goals for what I hoped to accomplish for myself and for the team, and I made plans for my future. During a visit to HKI’s Project Laser Beam in the Southern regions of Bangladesh, I found a few women who were also making big plans for their future and looking to learn from HKI as well.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

Hello from lovely Cambodia!

Hello from lovely Cambodia!  My name is Caitlin Gruer and I am a masters of public health student at Columbia University.  I am studying Sociomedical Sciences with a concentration in Global Health and a personal interest in child health.  As part of my studies I have the pleasure of interning for HKI Cambodia for the next six months.

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Categories Asia-Pacific

Canadian Government Invests in the Power of Agriculture to Improve Nutrition

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Women Farmers in Fada N'Gourma, Burkina Faso, at a training nursery where orange-fleshed sweetpotato and other nutritious crops are being grown.

I started with Helen Keller International in April 1994 – as country director in Bangladesh. One of the most exciting programs I inherited was our home gardening initiative – which has evolved to become Enhanced Homestead Food Production – “enhanced” to include small animal husbandry and increased focus on promotion of optimal nutrition and health behaviors. When I moved from Bangladesh back to Africa in 1997 this was one experience I ardently wanted to replicate – since access to nutritious foods is one of the major obstacles that women face in providing adequate diets to their children.

I also observed firsthand how bringing technical expertise to small-holder women farmers could be transformational – building on their traditional knowledge about gardening and allowing them to develop more skills and generate increased income.

It is very moving, 19 years after having joined HKI, to sign this new grant with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). more…

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Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition

Chúng tôi đã làm cho Nó (We made it!)

Blog post by HKI-Vietnam Interns, Casey McCormick and Michael Wilson

After a long, but uneventful set of flights, Casey and I finally arrived in the bustling city of Hanoi just shy of 30 hours after leaving the North Carolina/Virginia area. We were very fortunate to find a very hospitable taxi driver who, aside from a persistent use of his high beams in order to make oncoming traffic aware of his presence, was extremely helpful in helping us to find the apartment Linh, from HKI Viet Nam, had arranged for us in the Bah Dinh district. more…

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Categories Asia-Pacific

Fight Malnutrition by Empowering Mothers Around the World

This posted was originally written for the Huffington Post by HKI President and CEO Kathy Spahn. View original post.

Mother’s Day is a time to come together as families and friends to celebrate some of our greatest nurturers, teachers and providers. It’s not easy being a mother under any circumstance, but I am particularly inspired by, and mindful of, the mothers we serve in countries where malnutrition and food insecurity still persist.

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Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition

Salamata’s Story: How One Mother Makes a Difference

Salamata is a community leader, farmer, mother, and grandmother.

In her village in Burkina Faso in western Africa, Ouoba Salamata is a Grandmother—with a capital “G.”  Not only does she care for her immediate family, but also for her entire village.  And, like many grandmothers – with a small “g”, she has lived a life filled with hard work, sacrifice, and boundless love for her family.

Wherever I travel, the faces of everyday heroes become imprinted in my memory. I recently returned from a visit to Helen Keller International’s programs in Burkina Faso where I met Salamata, a hard-working, brave member of her village.  When I saw how she has utilized HKI’s programs to transform life for her entire community, I knew I had to share her inspiring story with you.

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Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition