A new initiative launched by the Slow Food Central Rift Convivium and Network for Ecofarming in Africa (NECOFA) is aiming to improve food and nutrition security for HIV sufferers by raising funds and working with affected families to empower them to generate their own food and income. With “Aid Livelihoods for 90 HIV Affected Kenyan Homes”, the group will provide families in the Molo District with materials such as seeds and livestock plus training in sustainable agriculture, small livestock farming and nutrition, in an effort to help them become more self-sufficient.
The fundraising initiative follows on from research activities carried out last September as part of a University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG) masters project. Commissioned by the Convivivum and NECOFA, the research team conducted a survey on food and nutrition security in households affected by HIV/AIDS in the area and presented their findings, report and recommendations to community leaders.
“In 1999, the Kenyan government declared AIDS a national disaster,” explained Pascale Brevet, UNISG student who led the survey team. “While many Kenyan families are struggling with challenges of poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, families affected by HIV/AIDS are more prone and vulnerable. They are faced with extra responsibility of taking care and feeding the infected person(s) who also require even more nutritional attention.”
“[In government and policy], little to no focus is given to empowering the affected households in becoming self-sufficient to achieve their food and nutrition security. Instead, the answer mostly lies in food on prescription in the health facilities, for which funding is lacking and that doesn’t represent a sustainable solution.” The project aims to fill these gaps and provide the tools necessary to families to improve their food and nutrition situation, as well as livelihood in general.
Since January, the Convivium and NECOFA have successfully provided support to twelve critically affected families in the district and are hoping to reach all affected households. The project organizers have recently been given opportunity to fundraise through Global Giving Community, an online fundraising foundation, and are currently calling for donations to help reach their goal.
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