Haiti is one of the most beautiful, yet impoverished countries in the world and has one of the highest rates of childhood malnutrition in the Western hemisphere. Children with disabilities are at an even higher risk for malnutrition and half the deaths of children in Haiti are due to malnutrition. For this reason we started a multi-vitamin program for the active outreach children. They receive vitamins monthly to provide extra nutrients and vitamins to facilitate better growth and development. We used to buy vitamins stateside and ship them down to Haiti. In 2018 we have switched to making our own vitamins out of a plant that grows all over Haiti and is packed full of nutrients.
The Moringa plant is nicknamed the miracle plant. Moringa has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties and health benefits. It also has antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Locally Moringa is known as doliv or benzoliv, moringa olifeira is rich in vitamins A, B, C, D and E, contains minerals, and has calcium, potassium and protein. The plant is estimated to contain twice the protein and calcium content of milk, several times the potassium of bananas, more iron than spinach, four times the amount of vitamin A in carrots and several times the vitamin C of oranges. The tree’s nuts can be grilled and eaten like chocolate, while powdered moringa leaves are often given to people with HIV and AIDS.
We have started making moringa powder vitamin capsules. We purchase the various size capsules and capsule making machines off of Amazon. We have one outreach mom who collects and powders the moringa weekly. Then we have a second outreach mom who takes the powder and fills the capusles. These filled capsules are the new multivitamins that we are handing out to the active outreach children. The capsules can be swallowed or opened and sprinkled over the child’s food or straight into their mouth.