The Peanut Butter Solution

I bring up the aid and development group Real Hope for Haiti and its Rescue Center from time to time, because they are dedicated in word and deed to the idea that kids shouldn’t starve to death. And that is about the best thing in the world to be dedicated to.

At the Rescue Center, the staff – American-born director Licia whose family founded RHFH, and a squad of Haitian  nannies — feed and temporarily house kids, sixty of  them or more some days — who are ailing from malnutrition. The official medical term is kwashiorkor. These are  kids who are risk, in other words, of dying from starvation.  (Sadly, some  do…).

RHFH does its work, this most basic, essential service of feeding kids in concert with the local village. It does its work with humility and love.  You can read more about it here.

I was reminded of all this when I read another of the RHFH blog entries about kids who are leaving malnutrition behind  thanks to a program called Medika Mamba. (I think Ive written about this, too, but it bears repeating and deserves a spotlight.)

I love what Medika Mamba is,  what it does and how it’s made. And I love the English translation:  Peanut Butter Medicine.

Medika Mamba is a ready-made, peanut-based high-nutrition “theraputic” food given to kids with malnutrition. (Read more about the process here. )  Kids who use it have an 85% recovery rate, according to the site.

Medika Mamba is made by a group called Meds & Foods Food for Kids (that’s a name that gets to the point!).  The group was founded by two American doctors, but the product is made in Haiti with Haitian peanuts. So, medication and food for kids and jobs for their parents and development for their country?  Nice.

(Medika Mamba recently joined the group that makes Plumpy Nut which is the well-known brand of the same kind of thing.)

You want to see its results in action at RHFH, check this – it’s quite something.

Kids shouldn’t starve to death in 2012. That’s a baseline belief the most people seem to have in common.  But unfortunately, kids not getting enough food is a complex problem; in the same burst of love, admiration and supportive thoughts I have for these wonderful people working on treatment, I also wonder about prevention.

What is at the root of the problem? Why are kids just a few hours away by plane from from Walt Disney World starving to death?

It’s important to ask these overarching questions. (That’s got to be part of the year of kids here at One Page For…) BUT,  examining the big picture of food securitydoesn’t mean we stop supporting people on the treatment/aid side, because so many kids don’t have time to wait.

Anyhow, I was thinking if we’re interested in this situation, here are some things we can do:

1. DONATE to RHFH or Meds and Food for Kids.

This is not an expensive treatment!  Even if you chip in only the price of a jar of peanut butter, it can help!  You can donate online!

2.  KEEP UP  with RHFH on Twitter ( @realhope4haiti) and Facebook to keep mindful of what’s going on in the trenches and learn about specific, current needs you might be able to help with.

3.  BE GRATEFUL every time you make your kids a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

4.  AND If you’re religious and reading this, RHFH is always asking for PRAYERS along with action.

As always, drop as you see fit.

And also: this looks like a horrible movie. lol


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