Stephen Gaskin, Plenty’s Founder 1935-2014
“The obvious answer to all the famines across the world is if we would all share across the world and don’t have some of us be very rich while some of us starve to death. And the answer to everybody sharing is for everybody to be spiritual, out of real good high kind altruistic places. But
Food, Environment, and Health Projects in Guatemala and El Salvador
In August and September Plenty Program Advisors, Chuck Haren and Casta Calderon, visited Central American project sites where Plenty works with a number of partner organizations. Some projects address the immediate nutri- tion and clean water needs of undernourished children and their families. Others help economically marginalized farm- ing families increase production of essential nutrient-rich foods, as well as trees and plants to mitigate erosion and control insect pests. Some projects support local efforts to produce and market fresh, high-quality, low-cost, nutritious foods. All these efforts are focused on improving food, the environment and health.
The women from Tecnologia para la Salud (TPS) in Chimaltenango, Guatemala are Plenty’s partners in the Es- sential Seeds and Trees Program (ESTP). The program goals are to help Mayan women and families grow and use plants and trees with insect repellent and erosion control prop- erties, to re-establish plantings of essential nutrient-rich foods, and to advance their native seed saving practices. Current funding for the ESTP is from a December 2013 International Foundation grant award. During our site visit in September, we visited four of the participating villages, and were very impressed with the number of women who have taken the initiative to plant trees and grow beans in each village.
This woman is growing trees with insect and erosion control qualities provided through TPS and Plenty’s Essential Seeds and Trees Program.
people like Mahatma Gandhi pointed out that it’s really hard
to get people to be spiritual while they’re hungry. It’s very difficult to get high philosophy out of empty bellies. We have an obligation, because we have full bellies, because we’re living good, we have an obligation to have the highest and the finest that we can possibly put out, to help other people feel that way too.”— Sunday service on the Farm, 1974
See Food p. 2
(photo by David Frohman)
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• PLENTY, P.O. Box 394, Summertown, TN 38483 •
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(photo by Casta Calderon)
(photo courtesy of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation)
(Food cont. from Page 1)
Karen’s Soy Nutrition Project (KSNP): Plenty’s
partners, Grupo de Soya Santa Maria (GSSM), presently serve 250-300 children on Wednesdays and 350-400 on Saturdays, and conduct two soy food processing and nutrition education workshops for families each month. Plenty pays for 2/3 of the costs of KSNP ($1,000/month) and the Misioneros de la Caridad provide the rest. Plenty’s support is only possible because of your generosity.
UPAVIM women’s association continues to make fresh soyfoods for the children in their programs as well as for sale to their members and the surrounding La Esperanza neighborhood where instances of crime and extortion are all too common. Despite the risks the women persevere in their efforts to make a better life for their families and com- munity. Their center provides a pre-school and elementary school, a health clinic and bakery, and skills training and employment in crafts making and marketing. You can help the women of UPAVIM this holiday season by purchasing their handiwork as gifts online at upavimcrafts.org
El Salvador projects:
Lempa Enviro-Agriculture Program – In September
we distributed hand tools to 40 families in the lower
Rio Lempa region of El Salvador who live on $100 to $150 a month for a family of five. Funding came from the Atkinson Foundation to help families advance their environmental health and nutrition, and establish food security through the sustainable growth, processing, and distribution of local plant/tree based pesticides, culturally acceptable green leaf foods, and dry legumes. Each family identified two tools they needed to improve their ability to work their gardens or fields.
Last year Plenty purchased $2,000 in equipment
and materials for the Comitè de Mujeres San Carlos (CMSC) with funds from the Trull Foundation, which made it possible for these rural women to get their bakery and soyfood processing room going. This year we provided funds for local partners to conduct three food-processing workshops with the CMSC women. To improve the protein level of typical foods, Casta helped them prepare corn-soy horchata and toasted soy flour fortified cakes that we distributed to families in Rancho Grande along with the farming tools mentioned above.
Non-GMO soy seed multiplication at the
University of El Salvador (UES)-Agronomic Engineer Mario Orellana and his team at the UES main research center planted a 1.7 acre trial of non-GMO Pb1 Sri Lanka soybeans earlier this year, one of five seed varieties we provided for testing over the past two years. This vari-
ety shows the most promise for the climate and soil con- ditions at the lower altitudes in El Salvador. The team hopes to begin distributing small amounts of this variety to a select number of farmers by August 2015. The team is looking for funding to establish community-scale soyfood processing education services at their research center. They are also making a concerted effort to bring university members and government agencies together to improve nutrition and food security in the country.
Toldeo Youth Empowerment Project
TYE youth doing clean-up of Punta Gorda Town.
(photo by Tasha Petillo)
Toledo Youth Empowerment (TYE) is a two-year project funded in large part by the Central American Regional Security Initiative through the US Embassy in Belize. This project currently involves 47 young people. Beginning
in January, they participated in a series of workshops on Leadership, Communication, Self Esteem, Anger Management, Conflict Resolution, and Teamwork. They are now following individualized paths such as returning to finish high school, getting skills training, or starting/ improving micro-enterprises. The students are hardworking and motivated individuals, most of whom are also young parents and looking to improve their lives. Plenty Belize is honoured to be working with these bright young people to create a better Toledo District community.
Plenty Belize continues to actively support the School Feeding Program Committee in the Toledo District, sharing our more than a decade of experience with the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) in their efforts to improve children’s health. One of their five areas of focus is primary school age children, and providing nutrition through the school feeding programs.
Plenty Belize has also been working with the village of Santa Teresa in the planning stage of a project to bring solar power to the village, utilizing the skills of Miss
Florentina Choco who traveled from Santa Teresa to India for 6 months of solar technician training.
We are also coordinating with the Rotary Club on planning water projects in 14 of the District’s communities.
Kids To The Country
“I think getting the kids into a safe and loving natural environment is the most meaningful thing for them. KTC has really helped me grow as a person in that I am better able to manage conflicts in myself and in the relationships in my life after managing the kids.”—KTC staff counselor, 2014.
(see KTC p. 3)
(KTC cont from page 2)
Books To Kids and Gulf Recovery
In Kids To The Country’s 28th year, 234 children got to take part in the program, most from inner city Nashville. In the heat of the summer the “swimming hole” is a favorite spot.
Admiring her beaded handiwork.
Books To Kids is contributing books for the library that will be housed in the new Pointe-au-Chien Tribal
Community Building (behind). (Left to right) Books To Kids Project Director, Jim Selin, Theresa Dardar of the Pointe- au-Chien Tribe, and Laurence Copel of the Lower 9th Ward Street Library in New Orleans display some of the books.
Inside the new community building where, with funding support from the Philip R. Jonsson Foundation, Plenty is installing a library and computer lab.
The Pointe-au-Chien Tribe has 700 members. Here tribal
member Patty Ferguson Bohnee, a lawyer who teaches at Arizona State University, addresses a monthly tribal meeting in October 2014.
(photos by Anita Whipple)
(photos by Anita Whipple)
Imani House Clinic in Liberia Ebola campaign needs our help!
Most of us are aware that the world’s worst recorded outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus is ravaging West Africa. To date (as of October 23) at least 4,877 people have died and real numbers of cases are believed to be much higher – almost 15,000, according to the World Health Organiza- tion. Liberia has been hardest hit.
These could just be numbers floating in a sea of statis- tics, but to us at Plenty, they have a human face. In Brew- erville, just north of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, the Imani House Clinic has provided health care focusing on women and children since 1992. We have known Mahmoud and Bisi Iderabdullah, founders of Imani House, since then. Our friends held steady as warfare ravaged the country in the 1990s, destroying 354 of Liberia’s 550 medical facilities, and leaving the country’s health care system vulnerable and unprepared for this deadly scourge. As the one clinic in Brewerville, the Imani House Clinic is the only option for medical care for many in the area. They now serve about 17,000 people a year. Tragically, earlier this month Imani House lost two of its own staff to Ebola, but they remain resolute to providing care.
Imani House needs financial support now. With a recent grant from Globalgiving they have acquired two used ambulances to be transported to Liberia. They need funds to cover the costs of stretchers, medical supplies, more protective gear and sanitation packs to distribute;
to create a triage and holding center at the clinic site, and expand community awareness to stop the spread before it devastates the vulnerable population they serve.
In July our friends first warned us about the outbreak. Plenty immediately responded with a $1000 donation to help them purchase supplies. As the crisis worsened, a Plenty board member started an online funding campaign which raised another $1400. These are small but critical gestures in the light of the severity of this epidemic, and more needs to be done. Please join us in helping Imani House clinic by making a donation at www.plenty.org.
IHI founders Bisi and Mahmoud Iderabdullah asked us to send their sincere thanks to Plenty donors for your generosity and support. For more information on Imani House, see www. imanihouse.org
Bisi Iderabdullah, left, with a young mother and her baby in front of the Imani House clinic in Liberia 2012.
Pine Ridge Gardens Project
Left to rt., Project Director, Milo Yellow Hair, Plenty volunteer Alex Miller and Pine Ridge resident, Marcus Red Cloud, working with compost that will be used to grow 14,000 seedlings in the greenhouse in the spring.
Along with the high rate of unemplyment on the Reservation (80-90%), one of the biggest problems is lack
of decent housing, which has led to the severe overcrowding of their existing housing. Forty percent of the houses have no electicity and many are without insulation. Some of the Gardens Project staff have told us they would like to help elderly and disabled Pine Ridge residents winterize their homes ahead of winter by adding insulation and weather stripping and plastic over doors and windows. A budget for 20-25 homes would include $500 for materials and supplies along with $300 for gas to get to the homes and $1,000 as stipends for the men doing the work. $1,800 total. Milo Yellow Hair would supervise the project. You can donate directly to this project or any any project mentioned in this Bulletin at www.plenty.org
or simply by mailing us a designated check. Thank you.
ARTICLE 2. “…the United States now solemnly agrees that no persons except those herein designated and authorized so to do, and except such officers, agents, and employes of the Govern- ment as may be authorized to enter upon Indian reservations in discharge of duties enjoined by law, shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in the territory described in this article, or in such territory as may be added to this reservation for the use of said Indians,…”
Then in 1874 gold was discovered in the Black Hills and settlers began pouring in. In 1875 a Senate Committee met with a few Lakota Chiefs to try to get their
agreement to allow miners access to the gold. They offered to buy the region for $6 million but the chiefs refused. In 1877 Congress voted to repeal the Ft. Laramie Treaty and take back the Black Hills along with 40
million acres of the lands that had been given to the Lakota People. In 1980 the US Supreme Court ruled that the Black Hills were taken illegally and the Lakota were owed $106 million with interest (now grown to nearly $800 million). The Lakota refused saying “the Black Hills are not for sale.”
Ft. Laramie Treaty between the US Government and the Lakota People, 1868