You’re invited to Celebrate with MFK in Haiti!
We’re thrilled to announce that our new factory is nearly complete and YOU are invited to the official Ribbon Cutting in Cap Haitien, Haiti on October 26, 2012!
With the monumental success of moving our machinery into the new facility, we will be able to expand our reach and save even more lives every year. In mid July, we started to make the move from the old factory (the converted house) into our new factory that has more capacity. It took almost a year, that’s record time in Haiti – from October 2011 through today – to build and begin to put the finishing touches on the new 18,000 sq ft factory. We employed up to 60 people during this construction process. Now, we employ 22 people to run the factory and 3 more in our agricultural programs with hundreds of farmers. We look forward to growing this number as we grow.
Although we’re close to completing our Capital Campaign with 2.8 million of 3.2 million raised for our Factory, we just couldn’t wait to expand production. Too many children are dying needlessly and we had to act. So, with the help of a bridge loan we have been able to move forward on this important mission.
We are very excited about our agricultural work, because that is how we ensure high quality, locally grown peanuts are used in our Medika Mamba. This year alone, we have sourced peanuts from 300 local farmers and look to expand to 400 or 500 next year.
All of this enables us to make more Medika Mamba so that more children can overcome malnutrition. Currently, we produce between 10,000 and 15,000 kg a week of Medika Mamba. Several partners, including UNICEF, local malnutrition clinics, Partners in Health, and we anticipate that soon the World Food Program will purchase our products for their feeding programs. As we increase our partners, we can increase the quantity produced: treating more children, employing more workers and farmers.
We are currently working on expanding our nutritional products line, which enables us to prevent more malnutrition. We’re testing the acceptability and efficacy of Nutributter, to prevent malnutrition in the 6-24 month old infants of an urban poor population. It looks as if this will be very successful. When we find an international NGO customer for this product, we can invest in the machinery to make it in our factory in Cap Haitien. Finally, as school children in the US go back to school, we might remember that only half of the children in Haiti can actually afford to go to school and most of them walk 1-2 miles with an empty belly and return home at noon with the same empty belly. MFK has a USDA grant to develop and test a school snack this school year. We anticipate that feeding kids a nutritious snack as they walk in the door in the morning will boost their educational performance and attendance, and decrease anemia and sick days. We are very grateful to USDA for funding this important program.
Our Old Factory
Our Old Factory was in a converted rental house, which could produce enough Medika Mamba to feed 8,000 children a year. As Tom Stehl, our Deputy Director says, it wasn’t until 2008 that we even had chairs. Everything was done on buckets!
Our New Factory
In our new factory we are able to produce ten-times as much life-saving Medika Mamba as before. That means next year we could save 80,000 malnourished children. In our new 18,000 square foot facility we can grow and offer important malnutrition prevention products. We are all so excited!