Project Healthy Children and Sanku are now providing critically important nutritious foods for 20,000 Tea workers in Malawi.
Malawi is Africa’s largest tea producer after Kenya, but sadly, is also one of the poorest countries in the world, so when we were approached earlier this year to partner with Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Imani Development to improve the health, and increase the living wage of rural Malawian Tea workers, we were thrilled to be part of this.
We have equipped the Tea Estates with nine Sanku fortifying devices, reaching over 20,000 workers as part of the Tea Malawi 2020 Revitalization Program. Free midday meals are now provided to each worker, consisting of Sanku fortified maize flour, as well as beans and pigeon peas to improve their health, and in-turn, their income and families survival.
In addition to the extreme poverty, with 62% of Malawians living below the World Bank’s extreme poverty line, the nutritional status in Malawi is alarming. Approximately half of all children are being stunted and 1 out of 3 non-pregnant women classified as having anemia. Nowhere is poor health felt more than in the Malawian workforce, where under-nutrition causes up to a 3% loss in the national GDP. For example, Malawian Tea Estate companies report that employee sickness, which is a product of low immune systems and malnutrition, accounts for nearly half of all absenteeism.
Felix Brooks-church, President of Sanku, traveled to Malawi last week to install Sanku fortifying devices within the local tea estate flour-mills and train their staff.
“As I drove through the tea estates security gate, I saw to my left the impressive employee housing, and to my right a primary school built for their children. I knew right away that these tea estates were making a considerable effort to improve the lives of their workers. What really excites me about this opportunity is seeing an immediate impact of improved nutrition on a family’s economics. The Tea Estate workers are paid partially based on how many leaves they can pluck per day. Thankfully they are now eating fortified flour for lunch, which will reduce sickness related absenteeism and fatigue. They’ll now have improved energy, productivity, and as a result, an increase in income”.
Next year this program is aiming to scale up throughout Malawi and improve the lives of 100,000 workers daily. For every worker that we help, we also help their spouse and their children access nutritious foods. We are very proud to be part of this important partnership.
Thanks to our supporters we are able to expand and ensure thousands more people can access the nutritious foods they deserve to survive and thrive.
Thank you to all of our generous supporters of the work we do.