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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. Imbako Public health our partner has her training activities with us on our site;


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Photo of carole null

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:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

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

Photo of carole null

Ashley Tillman thank you!

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