This post is made possible by support from Heifer International. All opinions are my own (but I’m not sure what Joey from Friends thinks).
It has been quite a few years since I had to open one of these:
….. but I’m pretty sure nothing has happened in the decades between elementary school and now to make it easier to get to that milk!
This guy has a similar problem:
The gentleman in the video above was hardly alone. Remember how Joey on Friends struggled with traditional milk cartons?
When The Problem Is Bigger than Difficulty Getting Into the Container
For children in Tanzania, having access to milk itself is the challenge, no matter what the container.
A Heifer International program in Tanzania that began in 2008 helps dairy farmers increase milk production. They are now broadening that focus through the school milk feeding program, which has a goal of creating viable and diverse markets for the farmers. Government agencies and school districts are part of the initiative to encourage a generation of milk-drinkers and increase the well-being and nutrition of eager students.
(And good news – the milk comes in packets rather than those blasted cartons!).
More about the School Milk Feeding Program
The School Milk Feeding Program officially began in July 2017. Besides the fact that it gives children in Tanzania access to milk and the ability to learn better, I love the way the program integrates communities by bringing the “cow to the classroom.”
During my trips to Central America, and as a fan/supporter of Linda Freeman, who has worked with communities in Cambodia to develop goat banks, I have gained a deeper appreciation of the link between animals and community self-support. This chicken in Guatemala, for example, is a key element of the family’s survival strategy.
Here’s more about the “cows to classrooms” concept, which brings Heifer’s community efforts full circle.
Where the Milk Goes Now (and Where It Will Go in the Future)
The July launch of the program put 200 ml packets of milk, providing 25% of the daily share of calcium, in the hands of 1742 pupils in the Njombe region; they’ll keep getting milk Monday through Friday for the rest of the school year.
Heifer wants to expand the program so that 9,000 pupils ages 9 and under in the Njombe, Iringa, Mbeya, and Songwe regions get a packet of free fresh milk every day Monday – Friday during the school year.
Besides the obvious health/learning benefits for the children involved, the cow to classroom program also creates a reliable market for producers and increases the farmers’ incomes.
What Will The Expansion Take?
I am excited to partner with Heifer to let you know how we can help this project reach its goal of providing milk every school day to 9000 children in Tanzania!
Donations of any size are appreciated. Even $2.00 would cover a week! It would be the perfect way to observe World School Milk Day on September 27.
If you would like to donate, please click here.
If you can’t donate right now, please consider sharing this post; the more people who are aware, the better (just click here to send a tweet now!). Women Online will donate $1 for each Facebook share or Twitter Retweet (up to $2000 total) to Heifer’s School Milk Feeding Program!
To learn more and/or spread the word, here are links to Heifer International’s website and social media accounts: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
I promise giving (or sharing socially) will be easier than opening a #$#(!* elementary school milk carton!
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
Paula Kiger says
I agree, Haralee, and I so appreciate you stopping by to comment!
Lori Popkewitz Alper says
I’ve been a fan of Heifer for many years. This is another example of the amazing work that they’re doing. What a great program!
Paula Kiger says
I agree, Lori! I love all these students’ faces and the idea of them getting the milk they need! 🙂
Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden) says
Glad to help out on social media!
Paula E Kiger says
I really appreciate that, Alana. Most importantly, I’m sure the kids will benefit. Hooray!
What a worthy cause and good for you for being so involved. Marvelous!
Paula Kiger (@biggreenpen) says
It is a worthy cause! Thanks for your support, here and on Twitter.