Friday, February 12, 2010

The Grain Aid Program PART THREE

If you have not read parts one and two check out these links first!

 Grain Aid Program Part One

 Grain Aid Program Part Two


So now that you know all about the need here in Niger, where we are giving out food, what we are giving out and how it will roll out, let me tell you a little bit about the “complementary programs” and how you can be involved!


Complementary education! What’s it all about?

We know that we will have a chunk of time with the heads of the urban households each month when they arrive for their food. Their culture is one where they will not likely just arrive, pick up their food and quickly take off. We can expect lots of time to chat, drink tea and talk. We want to maximize on this time with each person to offer some education topics that will be helpful for them and their families!

I will give you an example. The first month our education theme is going to be hygiene related. We are working with a local Tuareg and our staff to plan some short, simple talks about the importance of hand washing!

HandsHygiene_Logo_1 1

We are going to briefly talk about how disease and germs can be spread by unclean hands, and that hand washing will reduce incidences of diarrhoea and other preventable illnesses that strike many of their families. We are also going to offer all the materials for them to make their own handy-dandy hand washing stations called the “Tippi-tap” !


*Photo by Jon Ng

This is an example of what they look like (this one is out in our Tuareg village). It consists of two metal poles with hooks that suspend an empty container (usually a 5L oil jug). It is filled with water that gets warmed by the sun. When they want to wash their hands they tip it on the axis and get water from a hole in the lid. The can use the soap that dangles below and VOILA! clean hands!!  So for the April distribution, we are planning on teaching about hygiene and making tippi-taps and distributing the materials to build them. Then we will follow up to see if they are set up right at their homes and get the chance to meet and greet their families too!

So each month we will have a different theme. Ideas ruminating are malaria prevention (and we could hand out treated mosquito nets), the importance of educating their children, nutrition, and other development topics.

Through all of this time we spend, we hope to be building strong relationships based on mutual trust and respect as we work together to meet the needs of the community. This is truly a team effort!


So how can you get involved?

Well, i thought you would never ask!

First of all, many of you already are! Your donations to C&MA’s Global Advance Fund is what keeps our whole team out here working!

Second- we can never tell you how much your prayers and encouragement keep us going over here! You allow us to stay here, far from our families and churches, and feel encouraged, loved and supported. Your emails and notes mean a lot to us!

Donations- Does anyone out there happen to have a small handheld used digital camera they would like to donate? Did you upgrade and have your old one kicking around? It doesn't need to be new or super high pixels. I am looking for a working condition small camera (with at least 256MB memory card) that my project staff could carry around to help in monitoring and evaluation. Especially with security travel restrictions in place for our team, we need to rely more and more on our National partners to follow up on projects for us, so a little camera would sure be handy! Please let me know if you happen to have one and would either ship it out here, or get it to Calgary in the next few weeks where we have people coming out shortly. Thanks!

FInally- You can always get involved financially. The millet and oil for the program have been procured through funding from the Canadian Food Grains Bank, of which the C&MA is a partner. The Milk that we are distributing is being paid for by the “IMPACT NIGER” Work Special. The training tools, tippi-tap supplies, possible donkey cart for deliveries (already got the donkey- just need the cart!) and other program costs are all coming out of the “MCIVER NIGER WORK SPECIAL” fund. If you would like to contribute to either of those funds, you can do so through any Alliance church in Canada by marking the appropriate Work Special fund (noted above in capital letters). This allows us to buy all the supplies and keep projects like this running!


So that’s it ! I hope this three part series was a good intro for all of you into our program. Trust me – you will lots more about it in the next 8 months as it rolls out!



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