More than 80 orphans from Mikocheni Primary School in Dar es Salaam have received basic nutrition training and learnt the medicinal value of vegetables in combating HIV/Aids. This was done in a workshop organised by Regent Estate Senior Women Group (RESEWO) of Makumbusho village in the city.
RESEWO’s Vice Chairman, Venancia Malima said the workshop was in part to mark the Africa child day which was held on yesterday.
“Our focus was to educate them on HIV/Aids, how it affects the body, how the epidemic affects orphans…” Malima said.
The RESEWO Vice Chairman explained that, they have also trained the children on how to grow various traditional vegetables at home and at school encouraging the recipients to pass it on. This is also meant to promote traditional vegetable farming in Tanzania.
Among other vegetables, they taught the orphans how to plant black jacks, sweat potatoes leaves, and fame flowers.
Eunice Nyamwela and others are charged with the well being of the Mikocheni School Garden and the training of the children, the caretaker and schoolteacher expressed thanks to RESEWO for their support.
She emphasised that nutrition is medicine and hence it is vital that we train the youth to adopt the growing of traditional vegetables. According to slowfoodfoundation.org, this garden, covers around half an acre, it is managed by 16 teachers and 50 students aged between 11 and 13.
The garden is planted with traditional leafy vegetables like sweet potatoes, amaranth, pumpkins and blackjack as well as some fruit trees like banana and papaya.
“We train them to use traditional vegetables since they tend to protect the body and that it helps people with AIDS as it increases CD4 …” explained the schoolteacher who also believes that the children will be good ambassadors of healthy lifestyles thanks to the training.
She is optimistic and said that their only factor hindering further efforts is the shortage of financial resources.
Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity is a non-profit organisation in over 50 countries and involves over 10,000 small-scale food producers they promote environmentally and culturally sustainable agriculture which coordinates numerous projects, they work to provide them with technical and financial assistance.