The FAWCO BioVision Partnership
FAWCO Sponsors Malaria Information for BioVision's The Organic Farmer
The lack of practical information in the fields of agriculture and health is a principle factor restraining progress in Kenya and many other African countries. BioVision's The Organic Farmer (TOF) is a free magazine that reaches over 100,000 people every month and has become an important source of information for many African families in rural areas. In a new focus, TOF will print special supplements to the farmers’ news on subjects such as healthcare. FAWCO has sponsored the first health edition with 4 pages on malaria prevention information. Additional copies of the malaria insert were printed specifically for schools and the contents are being spread further through Kenyan radio stations and other media channels. This is yet another way that FAWCO is contributing to sustainable malaria eradication in support of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
A note From Dr. Hans R. Herren, President of BioVision Foundation
"Thanks to FAWCO’s support, the March issue of the Organic Farmer contains a special 4 page insert about malaria-prevention. We are very grateful to FAWCO for sponsoring this special malaria issue, which is likely to reach some 150,000 people in Africa as well as new readers in Asia and Latin America". FAWCO Malaria Article in The Organic Farmer 528.06 Kb
Documentary film The Organic Farmer, featuring Kenya’s 1st Organic Farmer - Su Kahumbu
This film about the free farmers’ magazine for Africa and developing countries, features one of its most important contributors; Su Kahumbu. Su is the Kenyan “Dear Abby” and in her advice columns she offers practical information to small scale farmers for improving their crops and their lives in a country where 80% of the population lives directly or indirectly from agriculture and most of the farm work is done by women who often have little access to educational opportunities, although they play a central role in feeding and caring for their families and communities.
Su Kahumbu recognizes that for African farmers “organic” is a way to get good harvests without expensive input such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides. She knows that it is vital for farming families without means to receive instruction as to how harvests can be increased without huge financial investment.
Su is an organic farmer pioneer and her warm charm, enthusiasm and communication skills make her a natural leader and educator. Her monthly column in the Organic Farmer has made her an advisor to a large following of farmers that now numbers over 100,000. Her in-field farmers’ training and her in-shop marketing sessions help small scale farmers to improve their production, income and self esteem as she teaches them to produce more and better crops and sell them at a profit, while at the same time protecting and improving the human and natural environment. Su says; “Those of us that have the tools to empower others must use them and stretch them to their limits”. FAWCO has proudly nominated Su Kahumbu as a candidate for the Women’s World Summit Foundation 2008 Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life.
Host Club Charity Presentation On BioVision 1
Host Club Charity Presentation On BioVision 2
Distribution of bed nets in Malindi and Nyabondo Kenya
Saving Lives – FAWCO’s Malaria Initiative
At the 2005 FAWCO Conference in Birmingham, the delegates committed to take on one of the world’s great problems and unanimously agreed to: “take up the global challenge for reducing poverty and improving lives by promoting and supporting the Millennium Development Goals. More specifically, they resolved to address the tragedy of malaria by encouraging FAWCO's members to make a significant commitment to worldwide malaria prevention." Over $100,000 was raised the first year for the purchase of insecticide treated bed nets and the fundraising efforts have successfully continued.
With the enthusiastic support of our members and the FAWCO Foundation, FAWCO's Global Concerns Fund, 2006 to 2007, continued this focus on malaria eradication in support of integrated malaria prevention.
Again, at the FAWCO biennial Conference in Lyon in 2007, the delegates re-affirmed this commitment to malaria eradication by unanimous vote of FAWCO’s Resolutions and Recommendations, resolving to "encourage our members to focus on malaria, the single largest killer of children". With this resolution, fund raising and awareness-raising will continue at least up until the 2009 FAWCO Conference.
From the start, FAWCO has been partnering with the Swiss Foundation BioVision in support of their integrated approach to malaria prevention. The two supported pilot projects in Nyabondo and Malindi Kenya use a combination of various environmentally friendly methods for reducing the number of mosquitoes. These use water management and the elimination and treatment of breeding areas with the natural pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) which has resulted in a reduction in mosquitoes of over 90%. The distribution of insecticide treated bed nets and the education of the local population are an integral part of the projects adding to their success and ensuring secure sustainable malaria control for the future.
The lessons leaned in the two Kenyan projects will now be applied to BioVision’s newest malaria eradication project in the Gurage/Tolay area of Ethiopia where there is a population of about 9,000 people. The area is a high malaria risk zone and the goal of the control project is to improve the human health situation and contribute to the economic growth of the rural poor communities.
At the heart of all BioVision projects is education. The lack of practical information in the fields of agriculture and health is a principle factor restraining progress in Kenya and many other African countries. The Organic Farmer (TOF) is a free newspaper that reaches over 90,000 people every month and has become an important source of information for many African families in rural areas. This year TOF will start to print supplements with special issues on subjects such as healthcare. The first supplement will be on malaria and FAWCO is honored to be able to sponsor this important first edition with 4 pages on malaria prevention. Extra copies will be printed specifically for schools and the contents will be spread further through Kenyan radio stations and other media channels. The soon to be published edition on malaria will soon be available for downloading on this website or at www.biovision.ch.