Green Hope for Persons with Albinism:
A value added agriculture system to improve PWA skin care and livelihoods.
GGE sets up Self Help Groups inclusive of PWA to practice value added farming & make sun cream to viably boost their livelihood in Kenya.
With looming drought in Kenya, we've introduced Agroforestry with the drought resistant Moringa tree. The staple maize planting season has been negatively affected by lack of rain leading to fears of famine. PWA are most affected by famine being already in poverty
We included PWA in the training of its uses, planting and management. Everyone went with free seedlings as it can be planted on minimum space, fast growing & does not require much water. The trees leaves and pods are highly nutritious
Most PWA in rural areas live in poverty, unclean environments and lack food. Our Moringa tree agroforestry project will be useful in the reduction of poverty and providing food for PWA too as a quick fix. It matures in 6-9 months ready for its leaves and pods consumption. We will assist self help groups in processing of Moringa dried leaves powder and pressing the seeds' oil. Surplus could be sold to processors too.
Moringa seeds clean colloidal water by separating only solid particles.
We ensure after training or any work done, PWA sit in the same space to eat and socialize with the community teams. They are normally not allowed to sit with other people and go into hiding to eat or read alone. This happens in weddings, funerals, places of worship, homes, schools and other social settings.
Some community members we work with hold this stigma towards them but are gradually through the close interaction that we offer, accepting them as normal and part of society.
Dr Choksey Albinism Foundation 2015 video: The foundation continues to provide free sun screen, eye glasses and relevant medical attention. She caters to both children and adults in East Africa. Albinism should be supported from a young age if PWA are to be assisted to become productive adults. We continue to collaborate with her from Trans Nzoia County in rural Kenya.
What problem does your idea solve?
Kenya has a high rate of PWA taunting & discrimination. They are viewed as cursed, infectious & ghosts annihilating them from socio economic activities. Most are poor & can't access medication for their eye & skin disorders.
We provide farm jobs, skills development, socializing opportunity, access to glasses & sun cream & fight stigma by inclusion into community activities and albinism awareness talks .
Production of Moringa emollient oil & sun cream will address scarcity of their sun screen
Explain your idea
Our idea is to give reason to rural PWA to confidently come out of hiding knowing they have a fair chance to earn a living, improve their livelihoods & feel welcome and secure within the general population.
Having gained their trust after over 10 years of reaching out to them, we have had meetings with individuals and groups of them and identified that socio economic empowerment and medical assistance are their greatest needs.
We have already established >10 Ha forest, fish ponds, bee hives & agroforestry all that provide ideally shaded working conditions for PWA seeking employment, skills training or farming land space. This county's community is 80% reliant on farming hence the need to also include PWA into this main economic activity. During our skills development training and experiential demonstrations, we include PWA to ensure they too acquire vocational and basic technical skills. We are helping them form self help groups that we will assist in tapping into regional markets for Non Timber Forest Products that we'll produce ie Moringa dried leaf powder, Moringa seed oil and mushrooms. Moringa oil base sun cream for African PWA is a by product that we are working to formulate.
Via collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Sanitation & Dr Choksey AF, we provide psycho-social support and create access to free eye glasses, sun cream & required treatment. Addressing their health limitations improves their productivity & displays to society their real potential
We mobilized PWA to share with them our idea. We let them experience our outdoor learning area that gives them a feel of how conservation can create an ideal/cool micro climate on small spaces which is what they need for survival comfort.
We inquired from them what their needs and they mentioned income, food, medical attention and school fees.
As all involve money we agreed on employment opportunities and skills training in Eco farming for their comfort and productivity.
During this inception meeting, PWA shared their fears and challenges that include people avoiding contact with them , being ridiculed, being called "money", segregation and taunting.
We agreed to collaborate with the Ministry of Health in fighting biases. The Ministry representative who was present enlightened them on albinism as a condition, its management and government support.
Fortunately since 2010 no known abductions have been recorded in Kenya.
Our project is participatory, experiential and voluntary. We seek first PWA consent and comfort to join in. the early adapters are urged to share their experiences & success to the several insecure ones so as to build up on their integration into society.
For instance those who travel to our partner Dr Choksey for eye glasses and sunscreen lotions and come back home well attended to, are testimony to the ones in fear of abduction. This has given them confidence in the organizations cause.
Including PWA into community projects helps focus on similarities vs differences, clarifying disability is not inability. It leads to more participation in social roles & activities e.g. being an employee, friend, leader or student.
Society gets sensitized to change the mindsets against PWA who perform same tasks.
Inclusion is key because impairments together with other barriers may hinder their full participation in society on an equal basis with others.
Inclusion restores dignity.
> 3,000 PWA in Kenya of all ages will benefit from income,food, Moringa oil and sun cream.
Men will provide for homes via jobs & have dignity as providers.
Women will be empowered financially & contribute to decision making instead of being chased from homes.
Children will not be killed, hidden away and will play freely with their peers.
Families will be stabilized.
The community will gain income, food security & conservation. Rainfall will be regulated for agriculture planning.
PWA women & men in Africa fully understand the danger they usually are in. In the past Kenyan PWA lost limbs/ abducted but the last culprit was jailed in Tanzania for 16 years(2010) . This makes most of them still hide in fear. In Kenya they mainly suffer isolation, shame & fear as they are considered cursed and unclean. Including them into our farming activities is altering this attitude towards them through close working relations with the rest of the community which confirms them as normal.
From an early age children believe what they see & hear & are affected long term. We aim to ensure attitude toward albinism changes for the better so that children with albinism develop confidence early. Including them & their elder peers in society's daily activities will give them normal lives.
Our open field is used by schools free of charge for play & we encourage CWA to be involved. This eventually takes away the embarrassment their parents feel causing them to hide them at home.
All parts of the Moringa tree are usable to the whole community. Moringa combats malnutrition that can cause disability.
Planting just 5 Moringa trees can eradicate malnutrition within a home of 7 people with ideally weekly nutritious leaf harvest from a mature tree.
Demand for Moringa seed in Kenya is about 600 tonnes per year but most is imported. Local buyers of Moringa products include Botanical Treasures, Earthoil and Edom Nutritional Solutions (ENS)
How is your idea unique?
We do not know of any other organization in the County engaging PWA within their work force as they are assumed unclean & incompetent. Stigma towards their condition is deeper rooted in rural than urban settings. About 1% PWA registered with National Council for Persons with Disabilities in our County work in government by law but most are jobless.
Maize farming is the main economic activity here yet they cannot work in the usual harsh conditions i.e. the scorched sun fields and chemical fertilizers exposure. Our farming involves environmental conservation that provides a cool microclimate ideal for PWA. We have planted >10 Ha tree coverage on site. Deforestation is rampant.
We’ll guide PWA to produce Moringa oil & Sun cream for PWA addressing both their income & skin care. There is no locally made sun cream in Kenya.
We ensure PWA work together with the rest of the community with equal chances & pay, giving them confidence to fully engage themselves physically & mentally.
Tell us more about you
We're a Kenyan Social Enterprise, discerned & awarded as passionate environmentalists by NETFUND & Total EcoChallenge in 2016. We've for 10+ years informally educated the community on sustainable farming.
I'm a UN Women's-Empower Woman Champion for Change 2016-7.
We partner with Dr. Choksey Albinism Foundation for provision of needed products & collaborate with Ministry of Agriculture & Imbako Public Health for skills development & psycho socio support.
We offer PWA nature as viable currency
We collaborate with the local church (ACK Sibanga Church-Kitale) who agreed to rally advocacy to eliminate discrimination against PWA. The church has great influence here on peoples' attitudes, character and views. The clergy impressed on all being created in God's image. The dejected PWA gained hope and felt loved from this meeting, beginning their healing and integration process. We seek to address PWA's real issues in real ways in real time.
Our meeting with PWA was to uncover their needs & assure them of our support. The Ministry of Public Health & Sanitation's representative addressed issues related to their condition some unaware what albinism is. She enlightened them on government support i.e. sun cream to all those registered under National Council for Persons with Disabilities. She also addressed issues raised including how to register & why sun cream isn't enough or accessible to all. Cost & logistic limits government aid.
Due to climate change, poverty & malnutrition, we introduced a first in the County! Agroforestry with the "miracle" Moringa tree. A Ministry of Agriculture's representative taught Moringa's nutrition benefits & demonstrated land preparation, planting & management. She will monitor our & participants trees to maturity when ready for consumption & processing in 6-9 months. PWA are hard hit with poverty & malnutrition due to socio economic bias hence their inclusion into this nutritious quick fix.
What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?
How do we reach unregistered & hiding PWA to build self reliance & avoid unjust deaths from skin cancers? PWA Lifespan is 30 years in E Africa with 2% living to 40yr.Global prevalence of albinism is about 1 in 17,000 yet in parts of E Africa it’s 1 in 2,000 people. No true data is available in Kenya.
How do we help PWA access microfinance once skilled for startup of MSMEs? Lenders shy from PWD.
Will bringing Dr Choksey AF & its’ equipment to Kitale impact more PWA more economically vs taking PWA to Nairobi for consultation?
How do we get the government to partner or buy & supply nationally our locally made more affordable sun cream & oil? Supply will improve
Who are the other PWD to include? There are 100,000 PWD in our County
Where will your idea be implemented?
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
Expertise in Sector
I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.
We are a registered for-profit company (including social enterprises).
Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.
How has your idea changed based on feedback?
PWA said their lives are affected by physical appearance & the sun hurts their skin & eyes. Africa’s PWA stand out & the harsh sun alters skin. The general community admitted avoiding association with PWA as most of their skins are burned & cracked seeming unclean & infectious.
We currently offer inclusion, skills development, on farm jobs & food security. Going ahead we will now include pressing of Moringa seeds for emollient yet antiseptic oil.
Research shows Moringa seed oil has potential for use in sun cream as it has sunscreen activity.
Our Moringa trees will give Moringa oil for use as an ingredient to make affordable sun cream and as an adjunct.
Sun cream from cooking oil, zinc oxide & body lotion has a SPF of 20 (Dr. H. Kirchesch). Substituting cooking oil with Moringa oil will increase SPF. PWA need minimum SPF 30.
Another work environment solution suggested is indoor Mushroom farming.
We were asked to include other PWD who can easily access & use the site?
A Key point PWA was essential in meeting various PWA for feed back. One of our youth point PWA mentioned we should collaborate with a youth DPO in the county that has just began and is snow peas farming on a half hectare open field not really ideal for PWA. We are eager to share experiences and skills.We are still thinking of which other PWD can be engaged within our model as is for now and how to upgrade need be.
We have a good working relationship with the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government as per this letter. The National Police Service is under them and we shall engage them too in advocacy for continued security of PWA.
No incidence of abduction or trafficking has been documented since 2010 in Kenya when a perpetrator was jailed in Tanzania for 16 years for trying to sell a Kenyan PWA to a witch doctor there.
After user consultation, we get to focus on value addition of our crop and produce Moringa leaves and pods for food, Moringa oil as additive to sun cream for its sun screen activity or as an adjunct and Mushroom farming for nutrition. All have a high return on investment, easily replicable and are based on environmental stewardship our businesses' heart.
An affordable locally made sun cream will address PWA skin concerns and help boost their self esteem so that they can focus at work, school or social gatherings. This they say is crucial to their well being. We shall build on Dr.Herbert Kirchesch’s (German scientist) successful research on formulating a homemade sun cream that he made for PWA in Kenya but stopped due to logistics and direct costs to them. We are in touch.
Moringa leaves are nutrient packed to fight malnutrition.
Moringa oil enhances sun screen activity in sun cream. It is used to sooth pain of burns, cuts, eczema, psoriasis, dry, & flaky skin. PWA experience all these occasionally & will benefit. It has antiseptic property that will fight constant infections.
Packed with Vitamin C, it can be used as edible oil for healthy cooking.
Crushed Moringa seeds clarify and purify water to suit domestic use to a great extent. Most PWA use river water.
PWA asked for an indoor farming activity. After discussion, we settled on Button Mushrooms because they are highly nutritious, have a demand in the region, require minimal space (even in urban set up) and water to grow, use farm organic waste as growing substrate, easily acquired skills and have a high return on investment.
An input of $5,818 can give returns of $13,636 within 4 months in button mushroom farming. Kenya produces 500 tonnes of mushrooms against an annual demand of 1,200 tonnes.
Who will implement this idea?
GG Ecofarm's CEO(Rachel Wambo-Registered Public Health Nurse), COO(Caroline Nyakeri project manager-Botanist) & 5 staff in Kitale will be full time on to the project.
We'll join in training & psycho social support with Ministries of Agriculture, Health & Sanitation & Imbako P Health (a USA registered NGO).
Dr Choksey will offer sun cream, sun & prescription glasses.
Advocacy for reduced biases will be by all plus ACK Sibanga church.
Experts & a research lab will develop product formulation
Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?
Any team member may pitch a new idea/suggest change to the management for decision making at anytime as an ongoing activity.
Being a SME, the CEO& COO seek expert advice and have two main strategic advisers, a Finance & a Marketing expert to guide on big decisions involving change of strategy or processes, funding or technology. Viability is discussed here & together a decision is made.
Changes or new ideas that encompass social, environmental & financial gains are more likely to win a buy in within our organization.
Buy in for our community directed activities takes a bottom up engagement system allowing for identification of specific needs. A top down system is in place too to create favorable conditions for increasing & maintaining agriculture based innovation opportunities.
What is it that most attracted you to Amplify instead of a more traditional funding model?
Amplify values innovative early stage ideas & gives a chance for re-thinking & improvement as one goes along. Amplify provides a usually unreachable platform that shares ideas for collaborative growth.
By impressing on applying the Human Centered design Tool Kit, the solution to a required outcome becomes much clearer.
Amplify offers crucial design support besides funding to ensure success & viability.
From the community probing, input & expert support, everyone ultimately becomes a winner.
What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?
PWA stand out for easy segregation due to color. 11% Kenyans think PWA have supernatural powers & 16% are unsure, leading to daily discrimination & taunting.
They hide due to shame, fear & painful medical conditions aggravated by the tropical sun. Most don't school due to bullying, skin sensitivity & are assumed blind, leading to poverty for lack of skills & jobs. Food, medication & decent shelter are beyond most.
The government hasn't prioritized making affordable sun protection items. PWA reiterate the need for clear non irritated skin as priority to confidently & comfortably perform at work, school & easily integrate. Government supplied sun cream is inadequate & inaccessible to many.
Data & mapping of PWA is inadequate hence aid doesn't reach all. There’re 3,169 registered PWA
Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question you need to answer to get there?
To produce an affordable Moringa oil based sun cream for PWA by PWA who are empowered through farming opportunities that increase their income, food & restore the environment within community self help groups.
I: 500+ skilled PWA engaged as employees & in self help groups replicating activities and 3,000+ PWA nationally benefiting from our Moringa oil based sun cream & oil.
Q: What are viable processing methods for value add to ensure high quality, sustainability, no wastage & replication?
How long have you and your colleagues been working on this idea together?
Between 6 months and 1 year
How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed idea live?
Between 5-10 paid, full-time staff
Is your organization registered in the country you intend to implement your idea in?
We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.
My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:
If your team/idea/organization has a website, please share the URL below.
Imbako Public health our partner has her training activities with us on our site;