Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests; Nutritious, Delicious Rainforest Food for School Lunches affects Health, Environment and Economy

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Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests; Nutritious, Delicious Rainforest Food for School Lunches affects Health, Environment and Economy

Nicaragua
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests is a new development paradigm which incorporates Maya Nut, a native rainforest food into school lunch programs in Central America. By positioning this locally sourced rainforest superfood in the school lunch market, HKHF improves children’s health, women’s incomes, local economies and rainforest conservation

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Many rural communities need healthy rainforests and rivers for food and ecosystem services. Climate change exacerbates droughts, floods and hurricanes, destroying forests and rivers and compromising agricultural production. Conventional food aid programs depend on imports of corn, wheat and soy products. These programs create dependence while weakening markets for local foods and reducing local buying power. Deforestation is threatening biodiversity and provision of environmental services.
About You
Organization:
The Equilibrium Fund
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Section 1: About You
First Name

Erika

Last Name

Vohman

Organization

The Equilibrium Fund

Country
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

The Equilibrium Fund

Organization Phone

9702754065

Organization Address
Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests is unique because it works to mainstream a previously neglected native rainforest food. Most of the conventional development projects in tropical forest regions to date have focused on timber extraction activities. These activities provide no income or educational opportunities for women. In contrast, HKHF provides opportunities for women to contribute to food security, family income and community leadership.

Similar approaches have not been attempted anywhere in Nicaragua or in Central America.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had?

Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests has succeeded in creating a replicable model for collaboration among government ministries of health, education and natural resources to achieve common goals. Since 2008 HKHF has improved the health and nutrition of more than 5000 rural children in Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. More than 200,000 new Maya Nut trees have been planted and more than 500 women are earning income by producing and selling Maya Nut products to schools. This model is replicable and scalable to all parts of the current and historic range of the Maya Nut tree, including all of Mesoamerica, the Caribbean, Mexico and parts of South America.

Actions

Healthy Kids, HeaHealthy Kids, Healthy Forests (HKHF) is a new paradigm for rural development which incorporates the Maya Nut, a native rainforest tree seed into school lunch programs Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
By positioning this locally sourced rainforest superfood in the school lunch market, HKHF achieves the following social, economic and environmental impacts:
 Improves children’s health and nutrition
 Improves women’s self-esteem, status and incomes
 Strengthens local economies
 Motivates rainforest conservation and reforestation

Results

By 2012 we expect HKHF to be incorporated into national policy in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras and to be impacting at least 2 million children per year.

Successful implementation of HKHF will reduce chronic child nutrition by 30% and reduce the number of food-insecure families in the regions where we work. HKHF will increase acreage of forests, thereby improving biodiversity protection, mitigating climate change, protecting soils and water and other environmental services.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

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What would prevent your project from being a success?

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How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

The Equilibrium Fund

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Approximately 150 words left (1200 characters).

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

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The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?
Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Web Search (e.g., Google or Yahoo)

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company