Something powerful, inspiring and incredibly heartwarming is happening in some of the poorest regions in Africa thanks to an organization called Organics4Orphans. There are people who can be considered true angels and Dale Bolton is among the these admirable people. He is the founder of Organics4Orphans, an organization which brings Dr. Fuhrman’s nutrient-rich diet to orphaned children in Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, Uganda and Nigeria. Not only are these children no longer starving or malnourished, thanks to Bolton’s team at Organics4Orphans, but they are learning what to eat to thrive. Given that there is a staggering 30 and 40 million orphaned children in Africa as a result of the AIDS/HIV epidemic, the implementation of this project as widely as possible is a goal Bolton and his team know is well worth achieving.
As it stands, infectious diseases account for almost 70% of deaths in Africa and mortality rates from chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes are accelerating at a rate never before seen in the developing world. African health care systems are weak and ill equipped to handle this new wave of chronic disease sufferers. Given severe economic limits in healthcare, priorities remain linked to treating infectious and parasitic diseases rather than chronic, diet-related diseases. This is one reason why the work of Organic4Orphans is so critical; the team is quite literally saving the lives of children whom might otherwise develop a chronic disease for which medical care would not be available. Dr. Fuhrman’s work is focused on preventing diseases such as infections, heart disease and cancer with superior nutrition, and avoiding needless medical care and medical interventions.
This is no small feat and you might be wondering how some of the poorest countries in the world are able to access an array of healthful fruits and vegetables to feed all of these children so healthfully. However, it is entirely possible! This is how it works: Organics4Orphans employs a $500 a year budget for each village it sponsors and uses these funds to buy all the tools, seed, and fencing required for organic agriculture. Employees and volunteers teach mothers and orphans how to make their own fertilizers, use natural pesticides and how to save their own seeds. Most of the projects involve a dozen mothers who look after and teach 50-100 children why it is essential to learn how to grow and eat healthy, nutritious foods. The result? Each child can flourish on a healthy diet for no more than $10 per child per year.
As Bolton has stated, “The amazing thing is that this type of organic growing is really designed for Africa and can even be cultivated in semi-arid areas.” In addition to learning how to farm and grow their own gardens, the mothers and children in the program are taught why it is necessary for them to consume a variety of nutrient-rich foods. This is where Dr. Fuhrman comes into play. Dr. Fuhrman’s nutrient density charts are quite a boon as they are a visual aid to show mothers and the children they look after that they simply cannot live off of cornmeal without developing significant nutrient deficiencies and how to design the healthiest diet possible. As cornmeal addiction is a real problem amongst many Africans, there is much to be gained from teaching them that they need to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Dr. Fuhrman’s charts do a superb job of showing them just this and they study his teachings, and implement a balanced and highly nutritious diet-style
Those who work on Bolton’s team are called Organic Agri-Nutritional Trainers or OATs. Beginning this April, Bolton will implement a twelve-week training program for OATs volunteers. Dr. Fuhrman’s books are employed for classroom nutrition training. Bolton’s goal is to reach the world’s 50 poorest countries and to spread the concept by educating locals in different countries who can pass on what they’ve learned. He’s explained that after funding each community for four years, they are able to grow enough food to not only feed themselves, but also cultivate enough food to sell. Bolton remembers one woman in her fifties who, after eight months of training, was able to produce enough food to feed her five grandchildren and a handful of others. She was even able to afford her own mattress for the first time in her life. Now if that isn’t empowering, I don’t know what is.