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  • Kickstart: The Tools to End Poverty

    KickStart designs and develops tools and technologies for small businesses. Their goal is to help individuals in developing countries start business that can improve their standard of living. One KickStart technology is a manually operated oilseed press. The press extracts oil from sesame and sunflower seeds. Besides selling the oil, the business owner can sell the pressed seed as a high-protein animal feed supplement.

    Jane Mathendu greatly increased her wages by buying a KickStart press and renting a shop in the town of Chuka, in Kenya.More people wanted to buy oil from her than she had seeds, so she started contracting local farmers to grow seeds. Read her entire story: JAMALI Cooking Oil. (Photo courtesy of KickStart.)

    Donate to KickStart: The Tools to End Poverty.

  • Sand Dam Changes Muendo Mdambuki's Life

    “This sand dam has changed everything for us. My three children are back in school. My wife no longer has to trek kilometres for water. I am able to help others."

    Getting Water From Sand explains how you can trap water during the rainy season and use it during dry periods. Excellent Development helped build the sand dam that Mr. Mdambuki now uses.

    His story . . .

    Standing in his nursery, Muendo Mdambuki proudly surveys the lush tomato plants and kale which have changed not only his, but many of the lives of the villagers in Kangemi.

    “I am now the new Muendo, the old Muendo is no more. . .” he says, describing how his life has changed over the last twelve months.

    Muendo has lived all his life in Kangemi, an arid region of south eastern Kenya, where he has had to sustain his family from the fruits of a small farm plot. When the rains failed to come four years in a row and his crops failed, Muendo found it very hard to support his family. During the hard times that followed Muendo, his wife and three children subsisted on one simple meal of ugali – a thick corn meal mash - per day.

    “Our children were forced to withdraw from school because they were too hungry to study” he reflects. After being asked what he did then, in the light of severe food shortage, with good humoured stoicism he noted, “I adjusted my stomach…”

    With little food and no rain, their lives were determined by the daily journey to get water. “We had to walk 10 kilometres every day to get water. The trek took almost the entire day and my wife had to leave the children at home alone”.

    Find out how successful Mr. Mdambuki is today by reading the rest of his story on the Excellent Development website. Donate towards their cause.

  • Malaria: Should it be controlled or eradicated?

    This article is from SciDev Net. What do you think?

    "Some scientists worry that renewed enthusiasm for malaria eradication could distract from vital control efforts, says Priya Shetty.

    Lately, malaria scientists have once again begun talking about eradication. It is not a word they use lightly. The last attempt, in the 1950s, failed miserably. Millions of people died because, far from disappearing, the disease came back stronger than ever.

    Since then, the global health community has focused on reducing the number of cases and severity of the disease and lowering death tolls.

    But ridding the world of this disease, which kills more than a million people every year, was a hot topic at the fifth Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) meeting earlier this month (November) in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Several high-profile international groups, most notably the Gates Foundation, are pushing elimination and eradication. At first glance, these are unquestionably positive goals.

    Yet some researchers fear that health infrastructure in regions like Africa is ill-equipped to roll out eradication tools, and are nervous that the shift will divert funds from much-neededbasic control measures

    Read the rest of the article . . .

  • Mulande Says Thank You!

    Mulande , a Kenyan boy, rises before dawn to fetch water for his family before walking to school. He leaves school at noon to fetch more water. The water he hauls back across a dry, rocky trail may make him sick, but it's better than dying of thirst.

    Blue Planet Run's year-end campaign is helping children like Mulande around the world will receive safe drinking water for life.  Mulande and the other children in his village will be able to go back to school full time, avoid waterborne diseases that can kill them…and have the chance to be children with a lifetime of possibilities in front of them.?

    For only $30, you can give Mulande a lifetime of safe drinking water.

    Please donate today, make a gift on behalf of family, friends and colleagues, and help us spread the word.  Through December 31st, all donations to Blue Planet Run will be matched 100% up to $15,000.