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People Behind the Projects: Organic Health Response | Nourish International

September 6, 2013 | Posted in 2013, Kenya, Nourish Office, Summer Projects, UMN | By

This past summer, Nourish International had a tremendous impact on poverty, implementing 19 different Projects in 12 countries around the globe.  We could not be more excited about the success these Projects had over the past three months! 

For the month of September, we will be highlighting the amazing people behind the Projects.  It was a difficult task to select these outstanding individuals and groups. All of the student interns, Chapter leaders, and community partners have completed amazing work!

To start off the month, we would like to dedicate this blog post to Organic Health Response, an incredible organization that supports an ecosystem of diverse community health and environmental initiatives on Mfangano Island in Kenya.  Many challenges exist on the island that prevent healthy and environmentally sustainable living practices, such as high HIV prevalence in remote communities, high deforestation rates, and decreased biodiversity due to overfishing.

However, despite these challenges, the Mfangano Island is rich in fresh water, fertile soil, remarkable wildlife, and a tremendous group of motivated and inspiring community activists.  These activists believe that the unique community can thrive in the future, and dream of pulling the island out from the depths of poverty and disease to create an area of equal prosperity for all.  These activists are the people behind Organic Health Response.  And they are the people behind the Nourish International Project on the island.

This past summer, the University of Minnesota Nourish Chapter sent a group of students to the island to provide resources that aid this group in creating a lasting change through community rooted partnerships and initiatives.  They developed long-term nutrition and reforestation initiatives in the community that benefited and will continue to positively impact the health, social and economic well-being of the community.  The programs were initiated and designed by the Mfangano Island residents and then aided in the implementation and resource provision process by the Minnesota student interns.

These people are motivated, inspiring individuals who look towards a better tomorrow and actively work to eradicate poverty in the region.  The Organic Health Response activists provide HIV testing and counseling, lessons on sustainable farming practices, and technology initiatives.   Over 500 community members have graduated from the informative health program, 2000 members have joined the computer and internet literacy initiative, and 2,434 members have been tested and treated for HIV thus far.  Organic Health Response believes in the fundamental values of human strength and harmonious relationships with others and the environment, and strives to create a world where these values continue to reign in future generations.

The vision of Organic Health Response is huge, and their love, enthusiasm, and community driven motivation and dedication to create a better future for the island continues to grow with every seed planted, health lesson taught, and infant death prevented.  They have completed incredible things and the future looks bright for this organization and their impact on poverty on the Mfangano Island.

1 Comment

  1. Garrison Gordon
    September 18, 2013

    Leave a Reply

    What beautiful words. Thank you for sharing the story of Organic Health Response and the community they serve. It seems that UMN students felt very honored to work with such an incredible partner organization. Congratulations to those students for the experience they have had and the successes they have shared with the community of Mfangano Island.

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