A chance to grow

Apr 27, 2015

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The education project is empowering children in poor rural communities by making reading and writing enjoyable and free. The learning times after school are flexible, meaning classes are being held between 3 pm – 5 pm which allows them to help their families even after they have attended our classes. It also means the times are within the “acceptable” time the children are allowed to play in the community. By combining playing and learning, we are not only teaching them basic learning skills but make it a great place to develop socially and independently (something they don’t easily get within their communities) it is also a great way to extend a hand of love to the abused and broken hearted and show them that someone cares.
Averagely, most of these children in the rural communities are sent to farm after school or sent to do labour work to help support their families. Majority of these children have only one or two meals a day, which mostly contains carbohydrates. This also causes a high degree of malnourishment and affects their learning ability. Drive Aid is seeking to fight malnutrition as well as hunger, these two problems combined causes “stunting” in most African children, stunting not only in their physical development but also intellectually – which explains why most of these African children in rural communities are not able to make it to higher level of education and break out of the cycle of poverty.
We have a vast land to develop our sustainable approach to these problems through farming.
Moringa is a great source of vitamins and minerals to help eradicate malnutrition, but Moringa alone cannot feed these children every day. We are implementing cross culture farming in all our Moringa farms by introducing the production of other crops such as Yam, Maize, Beans, Tomatoes, Paper, groundnut and okra in a rotation and seasonal basis. The benefit of producing such a system is that whiles we are able to grow Moringa for its short term benefits (as food for the children) and long term benefits (production of oil and powder) we can integrate these other crops which will achieve the following benefits:
1. Provide feeding for the children in the after school program.
2.  Excess food is sold to purchase educational materials to sustain the educational project.
3. Excess food is sold to support students who graduate from our education projects and want to further in their studies in a formal school or get higher/vocational training.
4. Students who do not or cannot afford to go higher or are unemployed can help on the farm to sustain and support themselves.
5. For students who want to produce their own farms, we can support with startup capital/seedlings and eliminate the cost of buying seedling on their own.
Our desire is to make Drive Aid Ghana projects sustainable and have a longer impact without dependence on external donations. Your contribution now will help us achieve this goal
Post by Matorwmasen

My name is Clement Matorwmasen. Together with my wife I have co-founded Green Gold Social Enterprise. Since childhood I have always been a social and environmental activist and I was a youth leader in many activist groups. As a child I grew up in difficult circumstances when my parents abandoned me and I grew up at the homes of different foreign missionaries. As a teenager I re-established the contact with my family members and my tribe and I learned I was high up in the royal family lineage. I now have very strong ties to my tribe and I want to make a difference in not only their lives, but that of all Ghanaians. When I reconnected with my family, I was already running several not-for-profit projects trying to improve the living conditions in several poor communities, like organising finances for a community boreholes to improve access to clean drinking water. I was doing this alongside my teaching job as an IT-specialist at a tertiary institution. In 2007 my boss and mentor introduced me to Moringa. I was intrigued and went to learn more about the plant and all its qualities and I saw it as a potential solution to combat malnutrition in our communities. This inspired me to set up my own NGO called Drive Aid Ghana and we started promoting the usage and cultivation of Moringa. I was happy that I could make a difference for some people, but scaling and sustaining our activities were highly problematic. Initially I was able to interest farmers in growing Moringa, but mostly they ended up cutting it down because they were not able to generate income from it. This was because there was no established local market. They also challenged me: ‘if Moringa is so useful and if you can earn so much money with it, then why don’t you do it yourself?’ These experiences made me think and slowly the idea of starting a social enterprise to promote Moringa as a cash crop started to develop. With the full support of my wife I handed over my IT-business to my brother and went full-time into developing our social enterprise Green Gold. We have been donated an abandoned state farm of 3000 ha by one of our communities, which we are currently developing into a Moringa plantation and processing factory. My quest is simply to make a difference in other people’s lives and to make the world a better place one smile at a time, Moringa is my pivot point for sustainable development

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