Western’s AIDS-fighting yogurt program marks 20 years in East Africa | Information

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Western’s AIDS-fighting yogurt program marks 20 years in East Africa | News


Western Heads East, a well being collaboration program between Western and companions in East Africa, celebrated its twentieth anniversary selling a probiotic yogurt that combats HIV and AIDS in susceptible communities.

This system, began in 2002, has Western College school, college students and employees work with companions in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania largely to offer the Western-researched yogurt to communities in want by means of grassroots group kitchens.  

The yogurt’s major micro organism has been confirmed to scale back AIDS and HIV sufferers’ signs and enhance the variety of CD4 cells, which strengthen the immune system to struggle in opposition to the illness. The yogurt may present extra common well being advantages. It was researched and developed by Western professor Gregor Reid and Brescia College Faculty professor Sharareh Hekmat.  

This system additionally works to make use of girls within the areas it operates.  

There are at the moment over 200 probiotic yogurt kitchens in this system and all are operated by girls. 

In accordance with Bob Gough, the director of Western Heads East for this system, “the social enterprise and the financial empowerment of the ladies is equally as necessary they usually’ve modified their lives, modified their households, and adjusted their communities.”

Gough mentioned beforehand, girls within the areas the place this system operates weren’t capable of personal land and confronted many systemic boundaries. However the efforts of the kitchens and ladies’s teams Western Heads East helps have improved circumstances for girls and their potential to personal property. 

“Some girls have grown factories out of this and are coaching different girls,” mentioned Gough. “It is simply rewarding to see that type of progress and influence of this system on the bottom.”

 In accordance with Gough, Western Heads East was impressed by a speech from Stephen Lewis, a former United Nations Particular Envoy for HIV and AIDS in Africa, about his efforts to direct the world’s consideration to the 1000’s dying every day in Africa resulting from AIDS. A bunch from Western attended the discuss and had been impressed to create this system. 

Western Heads East is planning to broaden its operations all through East Africa and construct a brand new manufacturing and coaching middle in Tanzania to promote the yogurt in native markets and attain extra folks.

Organizations in London are making efforts to convey this yogurt again house and enhance the well being of the town’s susceptible populations.

 “In London, the place the poorest reside, there’s plenty of quick meals retailers [and] much less grocery shops. There’s folks [that] are needing nutritious meals and particularly now you possibly can see the price of meals rising, it will get out of attain of the individuals who want it,” mentioned Gough.

 Purposes for the 2023 Western Heads East summer time internship program are actually open till Jan. 13, 2023, with each digital and in-person internships provided.

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