Nutrition and an Experiment

This article was originally posted on Marta Klein’s blog. She is a Covenant missionary serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

First sprouts of Moringa - only 9 days after planting.

This past week have been some good developments in an experiment that the other missionaries and I have been doing. There are so many people here, particularly children, that suffer from malnutrition. There is a plant, Moringa, that grows locally, that is very beneficial for people that have malnutrition.

Paul Noren (long term missionary in DR Congo) and myself planted 60 Moringa seeds about two weeks ago. Only 20 of the seeds sprouted, but they have been growing like crazy!! We have even transplanted the fledgling plants to another garden. In the meantime, we have found some trees that are already full grown in the area near the hospital. We were able to get a bunch of the leaves and we have been trying to figure out the best way to dry them.

Once they are dried, they can be crushed into powder. The powder can then be added to food to enhance the nutritional value. The powdered leaves contain a lot more protein, vitamins, and iron than other foods alone. We have been discussing this with the hospital staff and we have had a good response in the proposal of a nutrition project with Moringa. I’m super excited about this project. Please pray for us as we work with the local medical staff and the local people to introduce this amazing plant to help combat malnutrition. Kimia (Peace)!

Removing stems to dry the Moringa leaves.
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  1. This is exciting to hear. The community which we (Pine Lake Covenant Church in Sammamish, WA) work with, Kodera Karabach, in western Kenya has been using Moringa now since 2005 with great success. We have many people in the community growing in in their gardens, using the leaves in their cooking, and we also have hired 2 women at our Clinic, St.John’s Clinic Karabach, to dry and powder the leaves from the moringa patch at the clinic. They keep the clinic supplied to give to the pregnant women, children in need of help, as well as it is used daily in the elementary school they have started that now has 337 children attending. These children get 2 meals a day, and the moringa, along with Amaranth flour (also very nutritious) is added to these meals and we have seen dramatic changes in the children’s health, alertness, and it has even affected their skin. There is very little absenteeism and the school as a whole is doing much better academically than all the other schools surrounding the area. Everyone one in this community swears by Moringa!

    We also have seen dramatic healings through the use of Moringa powder, and this Christian community at the church considers they have ‘brought back to life’ 15 widows and others who were dying of AIDS. The believers began to take them food, Moringa, Amaranth etc, along with caring for their physical needs and helping get their gardens growing and now these people have become so well (along with taking anti-retroviral meds) that they have again taken over their own lives and the care of their children and gardens.

    I am so happy to hear of your progress and trust God will give you abundantly that with which to praise His Name over for bringing Moringa into your way!

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  2. […] colleague of ours in Congo, Marta Klein, has started growing Moringa in order to help fight malnutrition in Congo. The little seedlings are […]

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  3. Thanks for this interesting information. I’ve heard so much about the value of moringa from Covenant mission colleague Sharon Davis here in Cameroon. It’s exciting to see the potential for it helping the Congolese people.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is exciting to read about the effects of one plant on entire communities!

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