Africa was always on my bucket list…but what I discovered surprised me.

Organics 4 Orphans

This story was submitted by Lea Apostoleris of Purity Life, the company that distributes Natural Calm across Canada. In January 2017, Lea travelled to Kenya as one of the winners of the 2016 prize trip.  

Purity Life has always encouraged and enabled me to pursue my professional and personal goals. Because of Purity Life and Natural Calm Canada, I was recently able to fulfil a lifelong dream: to visit Africa. I was also lucky to do it with a fellow retailer, who is now a close friend, from Corn Crib Natural Foods in Saint John.

Africa has been on my bucket list for years.

social enterprise in Kitale, Kenya

This continent, so rich in natural resources, history, culture, and beauty, has always called to me in a way I find hard to express. I had spent countless hours perusing websites promoting aid missions, fundraising initiatives, and sponsorship opportunities for this broken continent, but they always failed to convince me that my investment would actually make a difference.

Then I met Dale and Linda Bolton of Natural Calm Canada and learned about how they are not only helping countless Canadians with their patented ionic magnesium product but are also working to end extreme poverty. Sounds like a pretty big order, eh?

Some might even go as far as to say it’s nothing but a pipe dream.

How can we possibly end extreme poverty?

Lea Apostoleris Purity Life with Organics 4 Orphans

I wanted to see for myself what this company was all about. I wanted to know how our selling an already-amazing product could actually provide an answer to a problem this world has been struggling with for years.

So I went. And I saw. And I’m here to tell you—every person who reads this—that you are part of the solution, and it’s not that hard.

Dale and Linda founded Organics 4 Orphans ten years ago. They have taken the “Let food be thy medicine” message to a place that needs it the most.

They started a school in Kitale, Kenya, to teach just that.

O4O in Kenya school

I thought I knew what I had signed up for. But it wasn’t until I arrived and got to tour their school, meet their students, and listen to their stories that I was really able to see the change we can all be a part of by supporting Natural Calm and
those living in extreme poverty with proper nutrition, education—and repetition.

How many times do we as educators have to drill into someone’s head that sugar is bad and greens are good? It is no different at Organics 4 Orphans; however, in conditions of extreme poverty, it’s a matter of life and death.

Organics 4 Orphans (O4O) works with small-scale farmers, focusing on four goals: food security, nutritional education, disease prevention, and income generation.

O4O school in Kitale Kenya

For one month, four times a year for two years, students learn about gardening, proper nutrition, and healing herbs in the first year.

In the second year, they continue to learn about nutrition as well as community development, time management, and income generation.

Back in their villages, the students do the practical work of getting people to commit to investing their time in maintaining a green-based garden.

Once an agreement is reached with that village, O4O provides them with seeds, tools, and, most importantly, a course on composting, bringing the soil to life, crop rotation, seed drying, and the importance of growing nutrient-dense foods
to fight and prevent disease. This also generates income for the community when they sell their surplus vegetables.

When the students graduate, they receive compensation for each garden they successfully set up, thereby creating yet another income source!

Currently, Organics 4 Orphans has projects in prisons, villages, schools, slums, and surrounding African countries. Next, they have their sights set on refugee camps and India!

Let Food be Their Medicine – And Ours

Organics 4 Orphans green nutrition

The opportunities are endless, and you can even implement them right here at home. Although we do not experience anything close to what those in extreme poverty experience, we are still in desperate need of education on getting back
to the land—to the soil, and letting food be our medicine.

I find it quite ironic that I had to travel all the way to Africa to learn the best way to plant a garden!

In a place where the world’s resources are the richest, its citizens are among the world’s poorest.

Where medicinal plants such as Artemisia (wormwood) and Moringa grow in the ditches, most people suffer yearly from malaria and malnutrition, cholera, and typhoid.

Where the growing season for healthful fruits and veggies is twelve months a year, people starve. This does not have to be.

Lea Apostoleris Purity Life Kenya Trip

Now more than ever it is so important to keep organizations such as O4O going.

The EU has declared Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Ethiopia to be in a crisis of extreme famine right now! One garden with one water well per community can literally fix this problem. I have seen it happen! And I have also seen what it looks like when it doesn’t happen.

I choose hope. I choose to donate my money to organizations such as O4O rather than sponsorships or dead aid. “Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for life.” That old proverb still rings true.

Do yourself a favour and open your eyes to how the other half lives, then reach into your heart and ask yourself what you can do to help. Natural Calm has made it easy for each one of us to effect change.

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