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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.

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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

Who benefits?

> 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.

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

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?

  • Kenya

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.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered for-profit company (including social enterprises).

Idea Maturity

  • 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?

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:

  • Under $50,000 USD

If your team/idea/organization has a website, please share the URL below.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Green-Gates-Ecofarm-695869913916336/photos/?ref=page_internal

Imbako Public health our partner has her training activities with us on our site;
https://www.facebook.com/ImbakoPublicHealth/photos/a.10150282376214970.70031.75315759969/10150282376984970/?type=3&theater

35 comments

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Photo of carole
Team

OpenIDEO team, in line with my proposed idea in this challenge, I am excited to have just been selected by the Kenya Forest Service as a winner nationally for being a passionate tree planter and forest conserver as on the link as shared:
https://www.facebook.com/695869913916336/photos/pcb.791484854354841/791483431021650/?type=3&theater

Photo of Ashley
Team

Hi Carole, thank you so much for sharing! Congratulations!

Photo of carole
Team

Ashley Tillman thank you!

Photo of carole
Team

OpenIDEO  see our weekend involvement with PWAs
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=785751821594811&id=695869913916336¬if_t=like¬if_id=1497806064347458

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Team

OpenIDEO . Our project is still evolving and we would like you to also be updated .Please see more answers;
Hi Vincent thanks again for your interest in our project. Having met with a Disabled Peoples Organization (DPO) in Kitale, they did suggest the same. So, yes we are thinking of including various PWD within our project i.e. those who will not be exposed to any danger within our setting as it is currently. We will upgrade as required as we go along. We shall include Persons with other various disabilities including manual dexterities, motor coordination, stature, hearing and speech disabilities as they similarly face socio economic discrimination yet they can be productive given opportunities through our farm model. Our model provides decent job opportunities that require basic skills training and this is ideal for majority of PWD who lack secondary education. Most suffer food insecurity and their children are prone to certain development and congenital disabilities through malnutrition. To break this vicious cycle, our project will provide both income and nutritious food options.
10% of the Kenyan population is disabled (4.44 million people) with 66% of them living in rural areas (2.93 million people). 81% hasn’t received secondary education hence are jobless and so most live in poverty. Agriculture offers more than 80% of jobs in Kenya with a lot of decent jobs and satisfaction even amongst able bodied youth as a growing trend. Giving PWD a chance of inclusion in agriculture is definitely a viable way of restoring dignity.

Photo of Vincent
Team

Carole this is a great initiative especially considering most Persons with Disabilities, Albinism included, live in rural Kenya. Your idea seems viable for inclusion of other Persons with disabilities. Have you considered this? Most reside up country and this would go a long way in empowering them. I am so excited to see the possibility of your project growing in Kenya.

Photo of carole
Team

Hi Vincent thanks again for your interest in our project. Having met with a Disabled Peoples Organization (DPO) in Kitale, they did suggest the same. So, yes we are thinking of including various PWD within our project i.e. those who will not be exposed to any danger within our setting as it is currently. We will upgrade as required as we go along. We shall include Persons with other various disabilities including manual dexterities, motor coordination, stature, hearing and speech disabilities as they similarly face socio economic discrimination yet they can be productive given opportunities through our farm model. Our model provides decent job opportunities that require basic skills training and this is ideal for majority of PWD who lack secondary education. Most suffer food insecurity and their children are prone to certain development and congenital disabilities through malnutrition. To break this vicious cycle, our project will provide both income and nutritious food options.
10% of the Kenyan population is disabled (4.44 million people) with 66% of them living in rural areas (2.93 million people). 81% hasn’t received secondary education hence are jobless and so most live in poverty. Agriculture offers more than 80% of jobs in Kenya with a lot of decent jobs and satisfaction even amongst able bodied youth as a growing trend. Giving PWD a chance of inclusion in agriculture is definitely a viable way of restoring dignity.

Photo of carole
Team

OpenIDEO 
Who will bear the cost to support this initiative?
I put this in pictorial but thought I would add on. Part of the grant awarded to us by NETFUND is ongoing for training in skills development for sustainable farming. We have already trained our first Self Help Group that includes PWA and provided them with free seedlings. We have previously carried the cost of trainers and included government extension workers too who train for free. As our CSR, some of our agroforestry and aqua farming profits go back to this community service by way of training on conservation.
We seek funding from organizations that support sustainable agriculture and are currently on the shortlist of SAG-SEED award 2017.
We will link SHGs to financial institutions once training is complete for their start ups e.g KIVA that gives zero interest loans to affiliated smallholder farmers through social lending.
Funding from Amplify will be most appreciated.

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Team

Hi Carole, just wanted to thank you for your thoughtful and thorough responses and for your engagement throughout the platform!

Photo of carole
Team

Ashley Tillman Hi Ashley, the pleasure was mine. Thank you!

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Team

Hi carole and Team! We’re excited to share with you feedback and questions from the Amplify team and an external set of experts. We encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve and refine your idea. You are welcome to respond in the comments section and/or to incorporate feedback into the text of your idea. Your idea and all associated comments will all be reviewed during the final review process.

- We love your holistic approach to this challenge - great job!
- We're curious to know more about your end users and communities. How have you engaged people with albinism and local communities in your process and development of your idea? Where would they like to work? Has this community or your organization tried other systems to help facilitate autonomy of these communities (facilitated self-help groups, savings and loans schemes, etc)? We're excited to read about the feedback you gathered from your beneficiaries! Be sure to include a User Experience Map in your final submission. This will help you explore the journey of your intended user!
- You mention that you have partnered with Dr. Choksey Albinism Foundation and other government ministries. Who will be the key implementing team for this project? Is the team full time staff members or volunteers? Have you worked with informal community based organizations on this initiative?
- We want to know what are the potential barriers that your user may face and how you intend to address these challenges. For example: what are some of the safety concerns for this community? who will bear the cost to support this initiative? how are wider community attitudes being influenced to break down barriers?
- Do you have a core objective you hope to focus on with support from Amplify? For example: farming, employment, inclusion, daycare for children, etc.
 
In case you missed it, check out this Storytelling Toolkit for inspiration for crafting strong and compelling stories: http://ideo.to/DXld5g Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an idea and make it come to life for those reading it. Don’t forget - June 4 at 11:59PM PST is your last day to make changes to your idea on the OpenIDEO platform.

Have questions? Email us at amplify@ideo.org

Looking forward to reading more!

Photo of carole
Team

OpenIDEO  team - Thank you for your recognition of our project & your insightful questions that will always keep us going as we improve our idea. Very crucial, we learned that the locally used common term "Albinos" is offensive so we ensure the entire team uses "Persons With Albinism" . Consulting end users does add value!
1. How have you engaged people with albinism and local communities in your process and development of your idea?
Having set on this journey with Dr Choksey 10 years ago, our task was to build trust from PWA so as to facilitate their acquiring of free sunscreen, sun glasses, spectacles & medical attention from the Foundation. This trust came to pass last year & as our model changes we are using beneficiaries as our point persons.
We started receiving letters requesting school fees, clothing & food support for they & their families and realized economic empowerment is the key to their well being as much as they appreciated the free sun cream and eye glasses. During our inception meeting last year they were able to share challenges faced daily including ridicule, taunting, segregation & lack of jobs due to being viewed incompetent, magical & unclean. These have broken their confidence, trust & self reliance chances so they hide or beg.
We then asked ourselves; Are we making PWA dependent on freebies? Is this sustainable? Wouldn’t they be happier buying themselves these? Where can they work comfortably?
Agriculture is the main economic activity in rural Kenya but conditions are harsh mainly open fields under the scorching sun.

We did invited representatives from the Ministry of Health & Sanitation and the church to the meeting so as to create a holistic team that PWA would be comfortable working with. It was worth starting this way as the Ministry of Health representative addressed queries on their condition as well as registration requirements to have access to free government sun cream which they informed her is insufficient & inaccessible for some due to a central delivery point (1 x 200 ml bottle & 1 lip balm per person once every 2 months. PWA require more than this for ideally day and night application).
The clergy being one of society’s main moral & character influencers agreed to take action in advocacy towards elimination of discrimination against PWA. The church has a great following here and will impact greatly on reducing biases. Other religious leaders will be engaged on a need to basis.
Subsequent meetings have been held together with the community to demystify albinism and we have started the action of including them into our existing eco entrepreneurship projects by collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Most rural Kenya PWA suffer severe sun burn hence lose confidence, suffer pain and discomfort. The community is learning that albinism is not infectious and with adequate sun protection PWA skins do look good offering them comfort to take part in normal life activities. Including PWA into our shaded & indoor activities will give them an equal chance to develop skills, generate income & reintegrate into society.
2. Where would they like to work?
During our discussions, PWA in Kitale (Kenya) said they feel that their daily lives are affected mainly by their physical appearance as they do stand out in the Africa setting and cannot truly hide. Furthermore their skin’s photo sensitivity makes them prone to severe sun burn, infections, excessive drying and even skin cancer that can be fatal, reducing PWA life expectancy to 30 years. These make other community members shy away from them, assuming they are infectious, unclean and unsightly.
PWA wish that they were not considered disabled as everything else about them is normal. They admit they would like to work in environments that view them as human and not “ghosts” since they just have a condition of lacking in melanin.
Being affected daily due to their skin and eye sensitivity to the tropical sun, they said they would prefer to work in shaded areas and indoors. Being in a rural area, 80-90 % of the income generating activities are agriculture based and they too fancy this. Farming even just for subsistence is considered a pride for every adult in rural Kenya. People are always talking about their maize or chickens and they too would love to be part of the conversation. Agriculture ensures rural homes have access to at least subsistence food. They would like to work together with the rest of the community including their families without being teased, feared or threatened. They just want to work where they are respected, recognized & belong.
They wish to participating in the community’s regular activities as normally as possible.

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Team

@OpenIDEO
3. Has this community or your organization tried other systems to help facilitate autonomy of these communities (facilitated self-help groups, savings and loans schemes, etc)?
The community has not had any system to help facilitate autonomy of PWA per ce. Trans Nzoia Youth Living with Disabilities is a CBO that sensitizes youth & persons living with disabilities on their rights, self reliance & participation in the community. They rely on table banking & are currently farming snow peas in an open land which isn’t suitable for PWA. PWA are over looked even when catering for PWD. There are 100,000 PWD in the County. We are in consultation with this group who requested us to incorporate other PWD into our idea. Through our initiative, funding from NETFUND & as an Empower woman Champion for Change, a UN Women programme, we set up a self help group to assist rural slums women & PWA fight poverty & reclaim the environment via agroforestry with the drought resistant Moringa tree inter-cropped with beans. We are incubating this group. Financial & digital literacy will be included in our training model. We are focusing on minimum investment, high return farming options i.e. Agroforestry with Moringa & indoor mushroom farming. They require little space & water, locally available inputs & basic skills.

4. We’re excited to read about the feedback you gathered from your beneficiaries! Be sure to include a User Experience Map in your final submission. This will help you explore the journey of your intended user!
Thank you for the Human centered design tool kit. It helped us empathize with users & focus on two core farming activities - Moringa trees & mushrooms value added farming.

5. You mention that you have partnered with Dr. Choksey Albinism Foundation and other government ministries. Who will be the key implementing team for this project?
We have partnered with Dr. Choksey AF to reach out to the Trans Nzoia County PWA and facilitate their access to free sun screen lotion, sun & prescription glasses plus medical attention. The Foundation has a regional target but had not been able to reach PWA in our County. They have assisted 600+ PWA in Kenya as at 2015 . It is our vision to facilitate the Foundations’ expert staff travel to this rural County with their ophthalmology equipment so as to impact a larger PWA population faster. There has been no specialized medical attention given to these areas PWA.

Due to the constant requests by PWA for other basic needs, we decided to include them within our eco farming entrepreneurship training which fortunately is in line with their working conditions preferences. We facilitate farming skills training through the Ministry of Agriculture extension workers. Following our success in Moringa tree planting as a first in the county! Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO-Kitale) has shown interest in collaborating with us too on research and value addition. We learned best practice via the internet.

Ministry of Health & Sanitation and Imbako Public Health are involved in sensitizing PWA and the communities about albinism as a condition, its management and give information on government support. They will be involved in the post harvest training through guiding on sanitation & packaging of all products before sales.

Green Gates Ecofarm, Imbako Public Health and Ministry of Agriculture will implement this project.


6. Is the team full time staff members or volunteers?
The Green Gates Ecofarm CEO, COO and 5 staff are full time while 20 others are temporary and engaged on a need to basis. Government ministry extension workers work with us on training and have a mandate to assist communities in their respective lines, as part of their job at no extra fee.
Volunteers include Imbako Public Health & community members.


7. Have you worked with informal community based organizations on this initiative?
We have trained various informal community based organizations in environmental conservation, farming & public health. We are an outdoor informal learning center and have carried out 20+ informal training sessions.
Our bottom up engagement system allows for identification of specific needs e.g. malnutrition, environmental degradation and poverty. A top down system is in place too to create favorable conditions for increasing & maintaining the agriculture based innovation opportunities e.g. National land and water use guidance.

We set up a self help group of rural slum women and have included PWA. During the training, we have not experience any inclusion resistance and are happy to see acceptance perhaps because all are facing the same problems of malnutrition in the home, poverty & rising temperatures which has led to drought & crop loss.

We will link them to funding e.g KIVA that loans small scale farmer groups at zero interest and help them build on produce pooling for processing at our center.

Photo of carole
Team

OpenIDEO 
8. We want to know what are the potential barriers that your user may face and how you intend to address these challenges. For example: what are some of the safety concerns for this community? Who will bear the cost to support this initiative?

The main barrier our users may face is fear from both sides of association & trust from PWA.
Being influencers in the community, our association with PWA has already altered mind sets of many whom we now see associating with PWA.
We will continue including PWA in social settings e.g. refreshments after training so that eating and talking to them improves awareness of their status. We will invite successful PWA in their own right during community meetings to share experiences & give evidence of performance. They will give mentorship talks to individual PWA and the community to give PWA confidence and improve community views.
Together with the church, Imbako Public Health and Ministry of Health & Sanitation we will mobilizing community meetings to fight this stigma. Psycho social support will be impressed upon to give more affected PWA confidence as most have been indoors most of their lives.
In terms of safety in Kenya, no incidence of abduction or trafficking has been documented since 2010 when a perpetrator was jailed in Tanzania for 16 years for trying to sell a Kitale PWA to a witch doctor there. This has endorsed the serious action being taken by governments toward this heinous crime. We use this example during our advocacy. We envision teasing, humiliation and name calling, the main barriers to PWA inclusion, being enforced into the government law as hate speech with consequences seen.

Barriers at an operational level that may affect their performance e.g. report form font sizes will be monitored and adjustments made accordingly.

Besides promoting our Moringa based locally homemade sun cream and oil as a sunscreen adjunct, we will stress the importance of protection from the sun with ideal clothing, hats, sunglasses and shade as the harsh sun is a real challenge to them.

9. How are wider community attitudes being influenced to break down barriers?
There's growing understanding that albinism is a non infectious condition & PWA deserve equal rights.
Inclusion in socio economic activities, dissemination of information on albinism & advocacy are influencing attitudes positively. Advocacy supported by government, religious leaders & renowned PWA is most successful. Hon Mwaura, the first PWA Member of Parliament & activist, has brought to light the potential within PWA and greatly reduced biases nationally.

10. Do you have a core objective you hope to focus on with support from Amplify? For example: farming, employment, inclusion, daycare for children, etc.
Our core objective that we would appreciate Amplify’s support in is value added farming of Moringa tree and Mushrooms for PWA.
These both give conducive work environment for PWA, have high ROI, are super foods, conserve the environment and require minimal skills allowing for easy inclusion of PWA in self help groups. We do not want them to work in segregation so they need basic skills to fit in yet most are illiterate.

We would love to expand our Moringa Agroforestry, set up a Mushroom grow house, incorporate, drying, oil pressing, cooling and packaging units for both as required. These can be locally assembled using easily adoptable technology e.g. solar drying, charcoal coolers and brick mushroom houses.

These farming initiatives will ensure PWA employment, experiential skills training, a central processing unit for self help groups as well as enable production of an accessible natural oil emollient that can be used as an adjunct to the limited expensive sun cream and as an ingredient for a locally homemade sun cream.
Moringa oil can also meet other needs reducing house hold budgets by >25% i.e. as cooking oil, antiseptic, water purifier, fuel, baby oil and body oil (massage&beauty).

Here we will be able to train 500+ PWA and incubate at least 10 self help groups in the next 5 years.
The members of these groups will gain nutritious food, cash crops, expanded tree cover, soil conservation, shade and increased rainfall.

Research and formulation facilitation assistance from Amplify for production of Moringa natural emollient oil and Moringa oil based locally homemade sun cream will give access to safe sun protection for over 3,000 Kenyan PWA including babies.
From research, we learned that a German researcher and a pharmacist came up with an African PWA sun cream from Zinc Oxide, cooking oil and body lotion (2012). This had SPF 20. PWA require SPF 30. Moringa oil has sun screen activity and substituting it for the cooking oil will be a winning and worthy formula since even the regular middle class find sun cream a luxury for its cost. The product was successful but the project went quiet. We are in touch with the innovator and in further consultation.

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Team

Carole,

This is great stuff....Impressive, it is always wonderful to see that SMEs are working in small BIG ways to Change the Way we Live! and Impacting the Disadvantaged Groups in the World.

I stumbled on a discussion with regards to the importance of Sunscreen for the Albino and indeed it will be a game changer if one can crack the accessibility and affordability of these creams or oils. A lot of these Albinos cannot access these Sun screens and if they do, the supply is not sufficient, poor distribution channels, lack of accountability etc.

Have you though about how to provide options to the current situation in Kenya where there is a fixed ration of Sunscreen supplies to the Albino society? Which from my research and knowledge is quite expensive and insufficient to cater for the growing number of emerging cases across the Kenyan divide.

This will not only protect their skins but now enable them to literally work out in the fields and walk out there without fear of tomorrow. With these huge hole catered for in the sense that they can now access more affordable sunscreen options, it means that for as long as you can continue to provide them with avenues that create self employment and generate incomes, they can actually sustain their own livelihoods.

Therefore, my thoughts would be for you to pursue partnerships to support in the provision and access of sunscreens, which is a daily requirement for these society.

Keep going, this is what we all need to think about in our small cocoons.

Photo of carole
Team

Thank you Catherine. Yes we do believe that starting is the only way forward. Supporting PWD should start at the home and community setting, sometimes just using local solutions.
Sun screen and creams are definitely out of reach for most PWA especially rurally and even most urban folk in Kenya consider it a luxury due to the cost.
We believe that the most practical way to ensure PWA get this life line solution is to get them involved in providing themselves with a source of sun protection and skin nourishing product. This we believe can be achieved through the Moringa tree’s oil and edible leaves. Albinism has not been given its due attention in Kenya and we would like to fill this gap.
We envision working with the government for a national reach once we have cracked the development process with experts in the science area. The government supplies’ the Nivea product range which is expensive for even the middle class society here, yet their budget is very limited. Once we upscale, accessibility will also improve at the grassroots.
From consultation with PWA, offering comfort to the irritating and sometimes life threatening skin condition, this will alleviate a lot of suffering and boost confidence, allowing them to engage in socio economic activities. Having lived with eczema, I empathize with PWA.
We appreciate your feedback and input.

Photo of Lillian
Team

Hi Carole, great job on your project. You are a great encouragement to many that resilience and starting small can end up making a big change in our local communities. I have followed the discussions and a lot of questions have been posed to which you have responded very aptly. I would, however, like to recommend considering more partnerships as your project grows to enable you to concentrate on the ground work with everyone concentrating on their area of expertise enabling greater impact to the community.

Keep up the good work and God bless you!

Photo of carole
Team

Thank you Lillian. Starting is the key to making a difference. We all have great ideas that can make a difference within our communities but the fear of not knowing how it will turn out keeps us holding back. We look forward to partnerships with various professionals so that together a real impact is felt. We appreciate your feedback.

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Team

Hello Carole. This is such an excellent venture. Evidently you have steered away from the conventional farming ideas most of us have or even know. The greater good in this project is that you have set out to empower a group of people that are segregated in the communities they live in. This project will give people with albinism a great psychological boost as well as the social-economical empowerment you envision. I sense the passion and excitement you have about this project and wish you great success.

The moringa tree has many benefits/uses and I suggest that you place great emphasis on research on how to convert your harvest to end products that are economically viable and that can ultimately sustain this project. As you record your successes, would you consider educating other communities so that similar projects can be replicated in other communities?

At some point, maybe it would be a good idea to hear/read testimonials from PWA on how this project has impacted their lives.

Carole, this has the potential of growing big!
All the best.

Photo of carole
Team

Yes we have changed the farming script Angela. Necessity is the mother of invention! Business can no longer be as usual when our bread basket of Kenya is facing drought. This can mean famine. It is time to restore and protect the environment and use it wisely for posterity. Of what benefit is it if we as society cannot let PWD contribute towards development? We are losing a lot of brains and potential if we do not include them.

I agree with you sustainability of the project is key and we trust that with the drought resistant Moringa tree’s quick maturation (6-9 months) and weekly harvest potential thereafter, income will be generated and some allocated towards value addition to enable us penetrate the growing market of health conscious people.It is a project that sustains and enhances the environment by contributing towards soil nutrients, conservation and regulation of rainfall. This wise land use will ensure we do not exhaust our natural resources.

We will advocate against biases, train and capacity build in collaboration with State Departments of Agriculture and Health & Sanitation. This collaboration will empower the community and give credibility to our project.

We sure will be sharing beneficiary testimonials. Those we work with already show happiness and confidence in their daily activities at work, as friends, as mothers and as fathers.
Thank you for your wishes.

Photo of Vincent
Team

Hi carole I like your thinking on helping change both our thinking and our Approach on this issue of Albinos. The above pictures are helping to visualize the idea.
This project is goin to become successful. if i may ask,have you looked at the ways to bring about the success or this Moriga tree? especially within the confines of the entire community?
I look forward to another success story!!! wish you all the best..................

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Team

Vincent I believe that the only way to eliminate biases towards PWA/PWD is to adopt real life methods tailored to the local setting. 80% of people in rural Kenya are farmers and most PWD reside in rural areas, should they not work? They are already dogged with abandonment, ridicule, poverty and even hunger. Our idea is to develop solutions that are practical within the set ups that they live in. The pictures indicate the journey we have been through to develop confidence and trust with PWA that is paramount to their voluntary inclusion as well as set an example for others.

We have partnered with State departments of Agriculture in capacity building for the community in groups. Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organisation and Kenya Forestry Society have both shown interest in collaborating as we continue with the pilot project in preparation for scale up. The state Department of Health & Sanitation joined us during our inception meeting with PWA and will run with socio psycho support and advocacy. Involving such institutions will have a greater impact in changing attitudes towards PWA which limits their full potential and denies them fair opportunities.
This particular community will also learn that PWA can delivery at work once environmental conditions e.g. protection from the sun and inclusion are addressed.
 Thank you for your interest in our project.

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Team

Hi Carole, congratulations on the great work you are doing.

I was wondering how many people there are with albinism are in the area you are working in, and indeed what is the percentage of the population of Kenya? Do you have plans to scale up your project and reach more communities, how do you plan to do this??
Best wishes
Fiona

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Team

Thank you Fiona and we applaud your work in Uganda assisting PWD. We wish you all the best!

In Kenya there are no true official statistics due to the fact that most PWA are hidden from infancy and data that may have been captured even in hospitals is not indicative as many rural women give birth at home. Midwifes have been known to consider these births as “abnormal” and assist in evading registration or worse supporting Infanticide.
That being said, the latest data points at 3,169 PWA known in Kenya (2017). The National Council of Persons with Disabilities has registered about 416 PWA in my target area but we are aware there are more. Rift Valley of Kenya where we are located has the highest incidence of PWD.
Albinism affects 1 in 15,000 people in Sub Sahara Africa and Kenya has a population of about 48 million with most residing in rural areas. In Tanzania our neighbor, it affects 1 in 1,700 leaving us guessing about this variable.
Having set out on this project, there is a local organization willing to assist in mapping of PWA as a highly vulnerable group because besides disability, their condition exposes them to mutilations and killings too. This will enable us reach more in terms of job creation, supply of essentials, psycho social support and changing biases within the communities they live in.

Yes we do plan to scale up through our model employment farm replication in various parts of the country. Our selected Agri business project is adoptable in any part of the country as it focuses on tropic conditions. It is affordable to set up and works best in collaboration with the community for best results.

By developing an affordable locally formulated sunscreen that incorporates Moringa oil, we will be able to provide albinos relief countrywide especially in collaboration with the government and distributing agents. Enrolling more albinos in eco farming as we expand production will reduce biases as well.

Photo of Kui
Team

Hello Carole, I am truly impressed with your project. Involving farming/conservation with disability is a great community project.

Moringa is a hardy plant and it is great you are able to grow it in Kitale; it would be nice if you could share how you were able to do this so you can educate others on different options of agriculture, instead of the usual maize, potatoes etc. Or if you are offering training to groups of people who can learn from your farming.

My thoughts are also on the product once it is harvested. You mentioned drying and/or powdering the leaves and using the pods for oil. PWA would greatly benefit I believe also from being involved at this end process. It would be like a cottage industry, where they plant, harvest and come up with the final product. I believe such a situation can grow a community, and they can sell their produce locally or internationally.

It would also be great to research what other products the Moringa can be made into. Who knows the oil may also be useful to make sunscreen!

Let us know how the project goes, and if I find any information on interesting uses of Moringa I will share.

All the best.

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Team

@Kui. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Kitale is the bread basket of Kenya and persistent drought spells has now led to the government subsidizing the staple maize food supply from Mexico. The one problem with this is that the local farming community is now left in poverty and without food security especially PWA. Moringa has combated all these in other parts of the tropical world. In Kitale our soil is compact so we researched on altering this to suit the Moringa tropical tree. Online we learned how to use river sand 2 m deep in each planting hole to allow the trees rooting system to grow.
With this discovery, Kitale's Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation and State Department of Agriculture are happy to partner with us as they were previously unsuccessful. We collaborate with the local government administration to create awareness and capacity building as we promote agroforestry with Moringa through demonstrating integrated farming ideas for small scale farmers.

I love the cottage industry idea! We will plant and carry out value addition locally to collectively gain bargaining power in the market both locally, regionally and internationally. Ideal Moringa tree growing conditions and the expanding market will greatly improve livelihoods of PWA who have minimal land and do not tolerate working in our typically open sun scorched fields. Agriculture is the main farming activity here.

From our research, Moringa oil is already proven as excellent in soothing burned skins, eczema and psoriasis which is common in PWA especially in the tropics. It has an antiseptic benefit which is helpful as most live in unsanitary conditions. We are looking into partnering with a dermatologist and pharmacist to develop a sunscreen recipe that can be locally assembled for PWA. Research has been done in Germany where affordable in house sun cream was made with SPF 20 from Zinc oxide, cooking oil and body lotion. I am following up with Dr. Herbert Kirchesch the researcher on this. Adding Moringa oil which has some sun screen activity can enhance this formulation as PWA require sun screen with minimum SPF 30. More over the use of conventional sunscreens on infants is still controversial, leaving CWA more vulnerable. Our Moringa oil project will generate income and give comfort to PWA to carry out other life activities. Sunscreen offered by the government is insufficient yet it is key to reducing cancer incidences. PWA greatest and immediate request is support to have skin that is free of irritations and rashes as this will enable them carry out other activities comfortably. Should you have more information we will truly appreciate.

Photo of Lesa R.
Team

I love this idea. As a public health physician I have worked for 30+ years helping create quality service systems for people with disabilities. One of my good friends has albinism and we have worked together through the years. I have also traveled to Kenya and the Rift Valley. Many feelings surfaced in me when I read about this project. This project brings together so many of my personal passions! It provides innovative inclusion and outreach and work sustainability options for people with albinism! It is obvious that the project is driven by grassroots collaboration and ongoing input from those impacted. I have some contacts in Kenya that may be able to assist in this project's further development and implementation.

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Team

Thank you Lesa. How nice to know you are passionate about the same. Next time you are in Kenya please get in touch it would be nice to have you on site. I am definitely interested in your contacts in Kenya thank you!

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Team

I have contacted Linus and look forward to working with him and their organisation here in Kenya. Thank you Lesa! This is what connecting through OpenIDEO really is about.

Photo of Lesa R.
Team

Wonderful!

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Team

Your nature-based idea for addressing particular disabilities caught our attention! With our partner Mmofra Foundation in Ghana, we look out for landscaping strategies and healing gardens in Africa, and we are learning from your concept of a shaded micro-environment to protect albinos outdoors. Is there a local sun-screen product available to your albino community?

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Team

Thank you for your comment. Nature always provides the best healing. We unfortunately do not have a local sunscreen product due to production technology and cost but I have read that in Tanzania there is.

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Team

Friends of Mmofra  , you got me thinking deeper about a local sunscreen product. The Kenyan government supplies Nivea products to Persons With Albinism which I know is on the costly side hence it is never enough. I just read that Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Tanzania manufactures sun protection cream and wide-brimmed hats specifically for PWA. I think it is worth considering this in our project and for the government too, as the cost must be lower and products are tailored to suit the needs of PWA. Thank you for nudging me to think through this.
It would be nice to learn more about your landscaping strategies and healing gardens in Ghana.

Photo of Isaac
Team

Hi carole I like your "out-of-the box" thinking on helping change the narrative and descrimination of Albinos. The pictures in your post really help visualize the idea.
I see the project really becoming successful. Have you thought of ways you could highlight the journeys and successes of your Moringa tree pilot project with the rest of the community? My guess is that this can help change the narrative and create more interest. Also a big one, how do people get to know about your organization/project in the first place?

Really looking to see this go far. All the best

Photo of carole
Team

Thank you Isaac for the encouragement and queries that have got me thinking! We have just began the journey to campaign and familiarize the community on the tree’s benefits, uses, land preparation, planting and management as well as value of including Persons With Albinism.
We enrolled individuals from a rural slum and invited PWA in the constituency whom we intend to use as community trainers.
They planted their individual seedlings which we will continue monitoring and through their success, use them to enroll other community members into the project having visualized and experienced the benefits via their peers.
We are also in discussion with these community participants, as our partners, on the value addition capacity we shall target i.e. drying and powdering leaves as well as pressing the seeds for oil for income generation.
Having collaborated with the State Department of Agriculture, they as well as KALRO are very keen on the development of our project as both did not succeed in nurturing the Moringa tree in this county during their trials. We researched on and carried out soil alteration and this has given us success. They shall be our added voice in creating hype around the programme.
I have begun using social media to disseminate information about our project and organization with positive feedback from people from various countries. How to turn this reach into a local impact is my concern. I look forward to charting a way forward through the OpenIDEO forum support from which I am already creating networks.
Suggestions are most welcome.