Sunday, November 04, 2012

Pineapples in Sierra Leone and Vaccines for Children in Uganda

I want to take this opportunity to highlight the work (and blog posts) of two anti-poverty advocates in Africa.

First, there is Steven Grudda, who participated in Bread for the World's Hunger Justice Leaders program in the summer of 2012.

Steven is working in Sierra Leone with First Step (a subsidiary of World Hope International).  The company operates Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Sierra Leone to attract industry to the country as a way of advancing economic growth and improving living conditions.

Here is an excerpt of his blog post about efforts to introduce pineapple cultivation in Sierra Leone.
"Working with smallholders to sell a crop they already grow is one thing (that’s what we’re doing with mango farmers). Working with smallholders to grow a new crop is a whole different ball game.
Africa Felix Juice (AFJ) buys both mangos and pineapples. The problem is, Sierra Leone has tons of wild growing mangoes and hardly any pineapples. Almost no one grows pineapples. After gaining sales momentum among mango farmers we decided to introduce pineapple cultivation as well."  Read full post Pineapples
A Shot@Life in Uganda:  Vaccines for Children

The second person I would like to highlight is Cindy Levin, an advocate from the Chicago area, who was  part of  a delegation that traveled to Uganda with Shot@Life, a movement to protect children worldwide by providing life-saving vaccines where they are most needed.  Cindy--who has done advocacy work with RESULTS, Bread for the World, and The ONE Campaign--posted a series of very impressive pieces on her APB (Anti-Poverty Blog) about her week in Uganda at the end of October.

Her accounts are very informative and descriptive.  I encourage you to visit her blog to read all the posts.  In the meantime, I am reprinting a few excerpts here:
It occurs to me that some of the folks reading this post may by interested in my journey, but haven't heard really what I'm doing here in Africa. After all, I never really explained it very well, did I? I am a volunteer champion for the UN Foundation's Shot@Life campaign. This campaign raises awareness, funding, and advocacy for global vaccines. We focus on four diseases, which are the top killers of children worldwide: polio, measles, rotavirus, and pneumcoccal virus. A child dies every 20 seconds from a treatable or preventable disease. Champions spread the word that together we can SAVE a child's life every 20 seconds by supporting global health focused foreign aid and fundraising from individual donors.  Read Shot@Life Trip Blog: Giving Kids a Shot@Life
Children anywhere in the world are entitled to share their feeling with us in their faces and words. The kids in Uganda were no different in that regard. I'm here to say that I saw both the positive and the negative, but overwhelmingly the emotions that I felt from them was curiosity and joy. And that's mostly what I want to show you in my pictures.  Read Shot@Life Uganda Trip Blog: Where are the Flies
The healthcare workers at the Family Health Day told us they are making a special campaign push to encourage husbands and wives to be tested together at worship services because that is often when they are together. At health clinics, they tend to come alone. If they both find out they are HIV positive at the same time, they will probably "have happy lives" says Dr. Edward. Read Shot@Life Uganda Trip: Rosemary's family (note: discussion of HIV testing)
Better yet, here she is telling you another story via a YouTube video.

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