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Grow Your Future

A kit to spread knowledge of nutriants and build upon their existing skills.

Photo of Divya  Hirani
23 12

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Updated 02/01/2015
One of the major problems in Ibanda District in Uganda is malnutrition. Some of the major issues caused by malnutrition include stunting, body wasting and becoming underweight leading to the single greatest cause of child morality directly and indirectly. This also leads to children having a weak immune system leaving them more prone to catching diseases. This is even more of a concern in isolated villages like around the rural areas of the Ibanda district, what they need is a healthy and reliable food supplies along with the right knowledge of what each crop is good for in terms of their health. This should be done through a way that builds and expands upon the skills they already have allowing them to take initiative in other aspects of the community.
 
The GROW YOUR FUTURE pack would allow parents and children to learn the process of growing crops together and help to understand how to grow and look after the crops in the most effective way.
 
The pack will include:
 
A range of seeds to grow crops
By taking advantage of the rainy weather in Uganda, a range of seeds and stem cuttings are included in a box (made of cardboard). Seeds for Cassava, Millet, Rice, Sweet Potato, Yam, Bananas, Soya Beans and Spinach are included (these are ideal for growing in the area). These also have a range of growing time so they won’t have to wait long for a sustainable food source to be created. Some of the seeds or cuttings that are provided can also produce new seeds or have a cut taken off when they have grown to create a new plant allowing for a long-term food source.
 
Informative visual cards
These cards use visual aids (key for those who may not be able to read or write) to explain the importance of nutritional balance, how long it will take to grow specific seeds in the rural areas of the Ibanda district and also the optimal way to grow them (such as a growing season calendar specific to Uganda). It will also include cards to show how to make the necessary tools to grow these crops using things that can be found in the Ibanda district.
 
A nutritionist lecturer
This person would come and inform the village adults on the pack and its contents, then teach them how to use it, leading them to become community nutritionists for the village who can then go on to help inform and distribute these packs to the families there. This allows them to grow these crops with their children and inform them about the process and why it’s important.
 
After the crops have grown, families can share and trade them between each other encouraging for a more social and knowledgeable village where they can go on to implement the skills they learn from this pack in other aspects of the community.
 

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Parents and children from isolated villages in parts of central and south Uganda (specifically people from the rural areas of the Ibanda district), where there are high malnutrition levels/ who do not have easy access to cheap and healthy food sources. By having the parent and child grow the crop together, they learn the key foundation skills to getting the best out of these crops and also enhance their existing skills further. The crops they grow will help build towards a healthier diet for the family and community as a whole. They could then go on to apply these skills in new ways around the community.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

Prototype the pack to see how effective the visual instructions and diagrams would be. This can then be shown to others to see if they understand how the kit works and what it does just through its visuals. 02/12/2014 This idea could be tested in a nursery. We could give the children t leaflets that have the knowledge about, what crop is good for what part of the body and see how effective our illustrations are.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Nutritionist/soil experts who would know what type of crops would be best grown in Uganda and the specific areas there. Help from volunteers who can go and speak in these countries as the nutritionist lecturer. Help from Organisations that include Unicef and African Nutrician Security Partnership who are currently doing live projects in parts of Uganda. By having projects already set up there, they could help further develop the pack through their first hand experiences and also help to get these packs distributed in the rural areas Ibanda district. Organisations on OpenIdeo like the Madrasa Early Childhood Program and LifeNet International would have to be approached to see if the could help in executing this project.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.

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Photo of Charlotte Norris
Team

How can you develop the imagery to be more visually descriptive? I love the concept of growing vegetables and enabling people to be self-sufficient in nourishing themselves and being aware of healthy eating. How would the seeds be packaged and distributed?

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