In 2008 we knew 2 things about the orphan crisis in Africa. First off, trying to support 40 million orphans using traditional orphanages was just not feasible because of the size and cost of programming. Not only that, but the orphan population in Africa was increasing by 1 to 2 million a year because caregivers were dying prematurely due to poor diets.
We knew that the best solution was to be able to show communities how to grow disease-fighting food all year round. This was the beginning of training leaders to do just that. It all started with 5 day workshops that trained the community to create learning gardens. These trainers would then return to our training center over a period of a year to complete a 20 part training in organic growing, nutrition, natural medicine and income generation.
We felt that the best name for these trainers would be OATs – Organic Agricultural Trainers. We currently have a 2 year internship program to equip local leaders to help create Food and Health Security in a number of communities.