Our Eden: Gardening for the family Bamako, MaliBamako, Mali Video of Fighting malnutrition in Mali Year Founded: 2015 Organization type: nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector Project Stage: Idea Budget: $1,000 - $10,000 Income generation Food security Hunger Sustainable agriculture Project SummaryElevator Pitch Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences. Our Eden project aims at fighting malnutrition in Sanankoroba which is a rural area of Mali. It provides training to gardeners on nutrition, good gardening practices and provides them with the necessary tools needed on the gardens. WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?" What if children can have good food to eat and live healthy? About Project Problem: What problem is this project trying to address? The problem my project is trying to address is Malnutrition especially in children. Though most people of my target community are Farmers (80%), they rarely know the Functions of their produce and the composition of what they eat, they just eat at random. And this results in 15% rate of malnutrition and causes deaths of 1/5 children before they reach the age of 5. The farmers lack essential farming equipment and skills. Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific! My solution to this problem is reaching out to gardeners in the local community; provide them with basic Knowledge and necessary tools for the improvement of their garden and the nutritional status of their family. Get them more actively involved in the agricultural-sector, by helping them on how best to market their produce and foster good relationship between them and micro-credit institutions. Awards None yet. Impact: How does it Work Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities. The first stage is reaching out to local gardeners and informing them about the project. Then Teachers and Students from the agricultural institute will teach Gardeners what nutrition is, how to maintain a good garden, and also how to get maximum satisfaction (quality) from little resources. Gardeners will also be provided tools and seeds needed on their garden. This knowledge of gardening will be a culture that the gardeners will pass to their children and neighbors. Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years. I believe that if these Gardeners can be provided the knowledge necessary in building and maintaining a good garden, it’ll be the best solution for overcoming malnutrition and food insecurity. Result from a research shows that gardeners eat 28% of their produce. With a good garden yield, increasing this consumption rate to 40% will make a big difference in the nutritional condition of the gardeners’ family. The Gardeners will have more knowledge and control over what they bring on the table for their families, they’ll also have access to gardening tools and they’ll be able to market their produce and extract more investors into the agricultural sector. Also there’ll be rise in the number of gardeners actively participating in associations for the betterment of their activity. Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact? Since majority of the target population are Farmers, I believe it’s not going to be difficult to adapt the culture of gardening. Children helping their parents on the garden will grow up with this culture. There will be expansion of gardens and more people getting involved in the domain. Improvement in the standard of living of gardeners, also, gardeners (women) will be financially independent; providing for their children’s school materials, health care etc There’ll be availability of healthy green produce and access to them (in the market) leading to the development of the community. Sustainability Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Financial sustainability would be ensured by partnership with NGOs, Foundations and Micro-Finance institutions. Gardeners can also be independent of their own and selling some of their produce will be a source of financial sustainability for them. Gardeners will also be introduce to investors and do business together. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches? There are a number of both national and international organizations trying to solve the problem of malnutrition (OPEL MALI and USAID’s FEED THE FUTURE are good examples). They are trying to solve this problem through different ways like seed donation etc. The difference is that my project is providing these farmers knowledge first, focusing only on them and reaching directly to them to solve the problem; primarily starting with their family. Team Founding Story Hunger and Poverty are the main problems people in rural Mali are facing. It’s incomprehensible that a farmer and his family are living in hunger. In these areas women are the ones responsible for bringing food on the table; They are provided grains by their husbands (who are farmers) and are supposed to search for the rest of the meal. Many of these women have a little or no knowledge about food and whatever they bring to the table is what is going to be eaten. Therefore many families are malnourished and this results in diseases and deaths (especially in children). Team The team comprises of Teachers and Students from an Agricultural Institute who will volunteer to teach farmers gardening skills and nutrition essentials; Students (including me) from my school who will advice farmers on gardening investments; Association of Gardeners and community chiefs: They’ll facilitate communication between Gardeners to investors and Gardeners to Gardeners. And also local chiefs; who’ll facilitate understanding between the team and the gardeners. Printer-friendly versionDownload PDF Comments Hey Friend, Wonderful work! I love your dedication to this issue, it certainly is important and crucial that people like you stand up to help those in need. My suggestion would be to ask at least 30 gardeners about what they need and then from their feedback create something meaningful. Understanding the problem is huge, and together with gardeners you can create a wonderful and long lasting solution. Here is my feedback, might sound harsh but it is with good intentions. Pitch: Think of if you work on a 20 story building and you are with you an investor in that elevator, how would you pitch your idea? You talk about the problem but no statistics about how serious this problem is and what the solution is! Why is this important? And then in the end hint at the solution. Sell the problem then sell the solution. What if: Focus on the positive not on the negative. When Mother Theresa was asked to join a Anti-War protest she refused and she said invite me to a pro-peace protests and I come. What if children live in healthy happy life? Problem: Much work remains to be done about the problem. How many people are having this problem? Why is this happening? Why is this not solved yet? What is the root cause of this problem? Much work needs to be done to understand the problem. Ask people. Talk to 30 farmers who are having this experience and see what they think. Solution: Think bigger. If you go to every farmer, that will take you a lot of time. Why don’t you think of a platform where the gardeners can come to you? Think of something that will add a lot of value to the farmers and help them make more impact. Examples: Think of a how would a gardener benefit from your process step by step and write it down as an example. Impact: These are great statistics and you should have mentioned this at the problem. Think of how are you going to define success? How does success look like to you? How are you going to know you reached success? How are you going to measure progress? Set some milestones to accomplish. Full impact potential: Look for a repeatable and scalable model that is simple and powerful. Once that model is developed the full impact could be reached. This is a very strategic part. Think of creating a repeatable and scalable model that is simple to replicate and there is a source of revenue to keep it sustainable. Think of a vision statement, what would it look like 10 years from now? What would you impact be? Set a vision that you want to accomplish and then everything that you do should be to reach that point. A cool vision statement that I like is from Oxfam: A just world without poverty. Think of something simple but also that makes you strive to achieve. Sustainability: Think of ways to generate revenue. You need to add value to the gardeners and you have to capture that value you are adding in a form of revenue. Marketplace: Analyze what others are doing in detail and see your competitive advantage. Create your secret sauce. Founding Story: Powerful story. Team: Form a team that helps with the business aspect of things. Remember, that you want a team of very dedicated individuals who want to make a difference as much as you. A good team is the most important part of any venture.