International Projects in 2019
For more than two decades, Planet Aid has been supporting development projects that help fight poverty. Through the funds generated by collecting and selling used clothing and by receiving support from public and private donors, Planet Aid has been able to provide life-changing, sustainable assistance to those in need. Below is an overview of the projects we supported in 2019.
Locations of Development Projects Planet Aid Supported in 2019
Types of Projects Planet Aid Supported in 2019
Food for Knowledge — Mozambique
Food for Knowledge (FFK) is Planet Aid’s flagship nutrition and education project implemented by our in-country partner ADPP Mozambique and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. The project is located in the Maputo Province of Mozambique, covering the districts of Manhiça, Matutuine, Moamba, and Magude. FFK directly benefits almost 90,000 children at 271 schools through seven intervention initiatives: school lunches, literacy, school gardens and small farms, water and sanitation, nutrition education, construction, and extracurricular activities.
School lunches are the heart of FFK and a critical aspect of the program’s school health, nutrition education, and construction goals. Made of a fortified, protein- and nutrient-rich corn-soy porridge, FFK school lunches are packed with essential calories, vitamins, and minerals. At every school benefiting from the project, FFK built or refurbished fire-saving stoves, kitchens, and storerooms so that volunteer cooks (parents and locals alike) can prepare the porridge. In 2019, over 12 million school meals were distributed to 87,453 students.
To encourage variety in the students’ diets, FFK has also established school gardens or—at eight of the schools—small farms to help students get vital nutrients from leafy greens, tubers, and other vegetables. These agricultural initiatives not only supplement their school lunches, but also serve as outdoor classrooms where students learn subjects like biology and math, along with valuable life skills.
As a result of improved nutrition, reliable sustenance, and deworming1, school attendance, punctuality, and retention have significantly increased. As of the last quarter of 2019, 99 percent of all enrolled students attended class regularly, which has allowed FFK’s educational interventions to have maximum impact.
Young children in Mozambique speak one of several native languages when they enter school, but they are frequently taught to read and write in Portuguese, the official language of the nation. This creates an obstacle in their acquisition of early reading skills. FFK’s literacy initiative teaches children to read and write in their mother tongue, which helps accelerate learning and makes it easier for children to later learn Portuguese. FFK has developed classroom and other early grade reading materials in two native languages, Changana and Rhonga.
“Since this project came to our school, our community has been mobilized to support and actively participate in the preparation of soy [the corn-soy porridge] without needing anything in return, because we know that the work we do is for the benefit of our children. Today, we can see that even children who do not like to study go to school and like to stay in school because they know that here we prepare soy and sometimes diversify the food with the products we harvest from the school garden. We really hope that the Food for Knowledge project will continue to help our Tavira school.”
Volunteer mother, TTC Tavira, Manhiça
1 Deworming efforts provided children medications that kill any intestinal parasites they may have developed from unsanitary living conditions or lack of access to healthcare.
Food for Knowledge students show off their early-grade reading skills during a Mother Language Day event.
Kadam Step-Up Center — India
In India, nearly 6 million children are not attending school. Many of them haven’t had access to education due to a lack of funding or legal documentation and other factors. The Kadam Step-Up Centers, created and operated by Planet Aid’s in-country partner, Humana People to People India, are helping some of the country's most disadvantaged families. The project is made possible through partnerships with the Government of India, and supported by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like Planet Aid and a range of other partners.
The Kadam Step-Up Centers offer children who have never attended school, or who have dropped out, a form of “bridge education,” which helps them “step up” to meet the demands of regular public education. In 2019, Planet Aid–supported Kadam Step-Up Centers assisted more than 27,000 children. Approximately 18,800 of them transitioned to regular schools.
The Kadam program is defined by an interactive, child-centric, and dynamic pedagogy. This helps teachers implement a holistic approach in their classrooms, focusing on academic growth, students’ interpersonal skills, as well as relevant 21st-century societal knowledge. The 10-step Kadam methodology integrates logic and analysis with learning through real-life situations, delivering classes that are a unique blend of collaborative learning, active thought engagement, and self-tracking.
The centers’ curriculum covers mathematics, science, and English, along with other subject requirements established by the Government of India. Some of the centers also offer computer courses for the students. Additionally, the Kadam methodology is used in remedial education programs in the state of Tamil Nadu for girls in grades two through eight who are at high risk of dropping out of school.
Ramiro Polytechnic School — Angola
At the Ramiro Polytechnic School in the Ramiro District of Angola, students aged 12 to 20 have an invaluable opportunity to learn technical skills, basic math, reading, composition, and science. Seventy students graduated in 2019 from the school, implemented by ADPP Angola, a Planet Aid partner who has been offering vocational training since 2011. The project is made possible by funding from the Angolan oil company ACREP and the Angolan Ministry of Education at both the national and provincial levels.
Using modern teaching methods that include fieldwork and practical application, the Ramiro Polytechnic School engages students in their own education and inspires them to take responsibility for reaching their goals. The school offers two-year courses of study in fields that provide useful life skills in agriculture, electrical installation and maintenance, alternative energy sources, water purification, well construction, and irrigation. Students apply these newfound skills by helping neighboring communities with water and electrical installations, or demonstrating the importance of vegetable gardening.
Amalika Teacher Training College — Malawi
Better educational opportunities are key to helping children escape the cycle of poverty. Unfortunately, with a short supply of qualified primary school educators, one teacher can be at the helm of a class with upward of 100 students in Malawi. That’s why, in 2019, Planet Aid donated funds to support the training of new primary school teachers at Amalika Teacher Training College (TTC), one of four such colleges in Malawi. In December, more than 50 students graduated from Amalika TTC and were placed in primary schools throughout rural Malawi, which will help reduce oversized classrooms for thousands of children.
The TTCs are operated by DAPP Malawi, Planet Aid’s in-country partner who has been preparing primary school teachers to work in rural Malawi for more than 16 years. The colleges are made possible through a partnership with Malawi’s Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology and with help from other supporters. A hallmark of the Amalika TCC curriculum is its emphasis on creating exciting learning spaces for children, as schools in the region frequently have scarce supplies and limited facilities – sometimes they are even missing a roof and/or walls. Trainees at Amalika TCC also spend time in the community to get to know the families and become local development activists.
Nikhalamo Girls Stay in School Project — Mozambique
Forced marriage, teen pregnancy, and socio-cultural norms that frown on female education are among the main factors that put pressure on young girls in Mozambique to drop out of school. In rural areas, 44 percent of girls are pregnant before age 181.
The Nikhalamo—Girls Stay in School project is implemented by ADPP Mozambique in partnership with Girl Child Rights and funded by USAID, with supplementary support from Planet Aid. "Nikhalamo" in the local Chuabo language means, “I am here to stay.” This name affirms the project’s central aim, which is to reduce obstacles for girls transitioning from primary school to secondary school and ensure that they stay in school.
In 2019, the project supported over 5,000 vulnerable girls by providing them access to girl education promoters and mentors as well as training teachers in gender sensitivity. Other activities included building latrines and distributing sanitary pads. Through active follow-up and tracking of a cohort of girls, the project prevented early and forced marriages as well as assisted pregnant students in their return to school.
Child Aid Doornkop — South Africa
The poor have long lived in Doornkop, located on the western outskirts of Soweto near Johannesburg, South Africa. Due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, disease has afflicted many people here. Consequently, there is a large population of orphans facing poverty and food insecurity as well as unsafe and unsanitary living conditions. To address these and other challenges, Planet Aid’s in-country partner, Humana People to People South Africa (HPP-SA), manages Child Aid Doornkop, funded by the South African National Department of Social Development, with support from Planet Aid and other partners.
Child Aid is a community-based, holistic model in which residents are mobilized to collaborate on improving living conditions and providing a healthy, nurturing environment for children. As demonstrated by Child Aid Doornkop, this model can be implemented in part by hosting youth and adult skills training programs to help lower unemployment. For little to no cost, people can learn computer skills, home-based care, and basic HIV counseling methods, including emphasizing the importance of getting tested. In 2019, over 17,000 beneficiaries were reached through health campaigns, skills development programs, and food security initiatives.
Child Aid Rushinga — Zimbabwe
Among the most defenseless in the human family, children are the primary victims of poverty. Planet Aid supports Child Aid projects that fight shoulder to shoulder with people in the poorest parts of the world to overcome the challenges they face, including having little to no access to food, health services, education, water, and sanitation. Specifically, Child Aid Rushinga is implemented by DAPP Zimbabwe, Planet Aid’s in-country partner who has almost 40 years of experience in fostering social and economic change in rural areas of the country.
Self-governing Village Action Groups (VAGs) are the muscle of Child Aid Rushinga. The local community members who participate in VAGs solve some of the most difficult problems they encounter every day in the Rushinga District of Zimbabwe by equipping and empowering their neighbors with essential skills in the areas of health, education, and agriculture. In 2019, 160 VAGs distributed condoms, planted trees, and enrolled over 500 students in youth clubs. Child Aid Rushinga is made possible with support from the Government of Zimbabwe, Planet Aid, and other partners.
Total Control of the Epidemic — South Africa
The comprehensive HIV/AIDS work of Humana People to People South Africa (HPP-SA) includes preventing the spread of HIV, identifying people who are HIV positive, and ensuring them access to life-saving treatment by implementing the widely recognized Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) model. The Total Control of the Epidemic: Preventing HIV in Vulnerable Populations (TCE-PHVP) program builds on HPP-SA’s extensive knowledge and successful track-record. In addition to a focus on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) testing and treatment have been added to the program, as well as resources and counseling for those who have experienced, or may be vulnerable to, sexual and/or gender-based violence.
This five-year program is aimed at stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS, TB, and sexual and gender-based violence in the farming and migrant communities of South Africa’s Ehlanzeni and Gert-Sibande districts. In 2019, Planet Aid donated funds to support TCE-PHVP, which is mainly financed through a partnership between HPP-SA and USAID. The program conducted HIV testing and STI screening, surveyed over 4,000 individuals about their experience with violence, and distributed condoms to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
TCE-PHVP, which began in December of 2018, uses a systematic approach designed to connect with hard-to-reach populations and at-risk communities, and empower them to fight the health challenges they face. TCE-PHVP Field Officers are recruited from the operation areas, trained, and equipped to run an effective people-to-people campaign. This local connection builds trust between the TCE-PHVP Field Officers and the community, leading to a higher testing and treatment rate.
Key activities for the project included:
- Providing school-integrated HIV/AIDS and sexual and gender-based violence awareness and prevention training among adolescents;
- Utilizing effective community-based violence-prevention methods among adolescent girls and young women; and
- Implementing education initiatives that teach ways to prevent new HIV infections among sex workers, drug users, and the farming and migrant populations.
Total Control of the Epidemic — DRC
Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) is a Humana People to People intervention model that helps communities control major epidemics, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria, that afflict many in developing countries. In 2019, the TCE Tonga Nzoto project was funded by the U.S. PEPFAR program via the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and received support from Planet Aid.
TCE Tonga Nzoto, implemented by Humana People to People Congo, focuses on preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout six health zones in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has a population of over 1.5 million people. The project’s goal is to identify HIV-positive adults and children, place them on a treatment plan, and ultimately reduce their viral load. Once individuals have a suppressed viral load, their ability to transmit HIV to another individual is negligible. Additionally, the project aims to strengthen the links between the Kinshasa communities and local health clinics to help them gain control of the epidemic and provide care for those living with HIV.
The project was launched in October of 2019 and will continue through September of 2024. In its first three months, the project tested over 7,000 people and began providing HIV treatment to individuals who tested positive.
1Tonga Nzoto means “take care of your body” in the local language of Lingala.
Bahia Pesca Farmers' Clubs — Brazil
Many farmers in developing countries live at the subsistence level, meaning they only grow enough to survive and are unable to rise above the conditions that hold them in poverty. Contributing to this problem is lost productivity resulting from traditional farming practices that cannot keep pace with frequent droughts, soil depletion, and other challenges imposed by an ever-changing climate. To mitigate this, members of the Humana People to People Federation use a locally-implemented, sustainable project model called Farmers’ Clubs.
Humana People to People Brasil (Humana Brasil), a Brazil-based, Planet Aid partner, started a new kind of Farmers’ Club in October 2016 – a Farmers’ Club focused on fishing instead of planting. Farmers’ Club Bahia Pesca is supporting small-scale fishermen and shellfish collectors in their quest to achieve food security for their families and generate income to improve their living conditions. The project is funded by the Government of the State of Bahia, with co-funding from Planet Aid, and other HPP members.
In 2019, the project implemented collective training and capacity building activities for fishermen and women, reaching more than 1,200 families. The training covered the identification and study of marine species, eco-fishing techniques, and conservation of marine ecosystems. Additionally, the project encouraged women to take leadership roles in an effort to not only help Brazil fight poverty and hunger, but also cultivate greater gender equality in the household and the community.
Macadamia Nuts Farmers' Clubs — Malawi
The Farmers’ Club Macadamia Nuts project is utilizing the time-tested Farmers’ Club model to change the lives of 3,000 farmers in Malawi’s Thyolo and Mzimba districts. Over a period of seven years, the project seeks to improve smallholder farmers’ access to the macadamia nut value chain by connecting them with larger macadamia nut producers in Malawi. Additionally, the project aims to increase the quantity and quality of macadamia nut production and processing in Malawi.
Planet Aid, along with other partners, supports the Farmers’ Club Macadamia Nuts project, which distributed over 100,000 macadamia seedlings in 2019. The project is implemented by DAPP Malawi, an in-country Planet Aid partner with over 12 years of Farmers’ Clubs experience. Along with growing macadamia trees, the farmers are intercropping legumes, which has increased the farmers’ income. They have also been acquiring climate-smart agricultural knowledge and working together to improve the sanitation in their homes.