The Plight of the Plumpy Nut

Fast Friends:  Jenny and I at the Nairobi I unload my 5 boxes of Plumpy Nut off with her.

Plumpy Nut distribution in Kenya with Concern Worldwide

The money raised at "The Ali & Chrissie Roof Party" was used to buy 5 cartons of Plumpy Nut, a peanut-based nutritional paste used to feed malnourished children. Plumpy Nut was developed by a member of the World Health Organization and is now being distributed to regions in need by Doctors without Borders. I was made aware of the benefits of Plumpy Nut by my friend, Elizabeth Benator. Thanks to all who chipped in between summer drinks.  -  7/1/08

After I put in the order, I had all the boxes of super-fortified peanut butter shipped to my friend, Espen Baardsen's, apartment in London because I found out shipping cost were much cheaper to the UK and decided I would just bring the boxes on the plane with me.

However, the excess baggage/weight charges on Virgin cost more than twice the price of the actual 5 boxes of Plumpy Nut.  In addition, I also had to look forward to more weight/baggage charges from Kenyan Airways for my connection to Kigali. This peanut butter was stressing me out! 
As my plane took off from Heathrow on an overcast afternoon, I noticed out my window, a sweeping rainbow spreading across the sky over the Old Blightly and took it as an omen of good things to come.
Then... I met Jenny Namur Karp.  Jenny was sitting next to me, headed to Nairobi for work for 2 weeks.  She is the VP of an international public health company called Social Solutions in Washington D.C.
Social Solutions International, Inc. is an 8(a) certified and woman-owned small business in Washington, DC. With an emphasis on quality research and evaluation, development of evidence-based education materials, and cultural adaptation and translation, Social Solutions is dedicated to the creation of social and health solutions to improve the welfare of underserved populations worldwide. Social Solution’s corporate culture is built on core values of diversity, quality, and social responsibility and grounded in the concept of positive change. Guided by these concepts, staff apply high-quality and culturally competent approaches to develop solutions that respond to our clients’ specific needs.
As we chatted, I told her about my project and how I had all this peanut butter with me that was costing me a fortune to send to Rwanda.  I did not want to pay any more money.  So, suddenly I had a great idea!  I asked her if she might know any organization or children that would benefit from this peanut butter in Kenya....and she mentioned that she could definitely find an outlet there.  So, as we deplaned in Nairobi, I left my new friend, Jenny, with all my peanut butter and headed to catch my connection to Kigali.

Coincidentally, Jenny's friend, Mike, in Nairobi previously researched the effectiveness of Plumpy Nut last summer and helped Jenny track down a group that could effectively use it. It turns out it has to be used very specifically – almost prescribed in order to have maximum benefit, so Jenny and Mike wanted to be sure to give it to a group that knew how to use it.

Jenny ended up donating the boxes of Plumpy Nut to Concern Worldwide in Kenya and the satchels were distributed through their village feeding program partners.  Thank you Jenny!!

So, the Plumpy Nut ended up in Kenya instead of Rwanda...but that's okay. ;-) 

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