What would you do if you were on your own, with six kids to care for, and fighting for your life?

If you’re like Joyce, you get to work.

A few years ago, Joyce was in bad shape. Like 10% of Malawians, Joyce had HIV. Her weight had dropped to 85 pounds and no one expected her to live much longer. But she was a fighter. Joyce and others with HIV in her community began growing peanuts. They got their hands on a CTI grinder and started making peanut butter. Before long, everything changed.

Eating peanut butter helped Joyce and her friends gain weight. With better nutrition, their HIV medication started to kick in. Now Joyce is strong, healthy, and is selling peanut butter to help put her kids through school.

“Since this grinder was introduced to me, I have seen a big change in my health. Even my children cannot believe how much my health has changed,” said Joyce. "People can’t believe that I have HIV.” ” 

This project was made possible by the suport of Earthen Vessels, click here to learn more. 

Published in blog

VEDemonstration

Villagers in rural Uganda are becoming small business owners as a result of a partnership between CTI and Village Enterprise (VE), a nonprofit that provides business skills training and support to entrepreneurs in some of the poorest regions of East Africa — in rural communities rarely served by microfinance groups.

In Uganda, VE distributes our grinders to small business groups, providing the groups with training and mentoring in business skills, savings and financial literacy. Recognizing that locals know their communities best, VE encourages the groups to develop their own business ideas. By empowering hard-working villagers with tools, training and support, the collaboration is helping those living in some of the world’s most underserved communities become thriving entrepreneurs.

 

Published in Grinder

In the months following the tragic earthquake in January 2010, CTI began collaborating with organizations working in rural Haiti. Though the earthquake was devastating to Port-au-Prince, communities outside of the capital city were struggling to find food and employment for their current residents, let alone the influx of refugees displaced from the earthquake.

Using donations from several organizations, the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) began purchasing grinders to help families near Jeremie, Haiti support themselves. The grinders, in the words of Bette Gebrian, HHF Director of Public Health: “are making such a profound difference…”

Funds for grinders were donated by many supporters, including several rotary clubs. With help from members of the Jeremie Rotary, Mme Josie Charles has built a business using a CTI grinder to make and sell peanut butter and a warm corn-based drink called Akasan. Mme Charles cooks the Akasan by 6am and sells it all by 8am, so children can drink it on their way to school. The small enterprise has been very successful.

The Haitian Health Foundation has distributed more than 20 grinders which are being used to create micro-enterprises. 17 more grinders will be shipped to HHF in late January, 2012.

 

Published in Uncategorized

For nearly 30 years, CTI has worked with volunteer engineers and scientists in heart of the Midwest United States’ agricultural belt to create food and water technologies that relieve hunger and poverty in the developing world. With the help of supporters and partners around the globe, we are providing meaningful and lasting solutions for “the bottom billion.”

Innovation that can feed the world: Many African pearl millet farmers struggle to produce enough food to make a living, yet they lose about half of their harvest using rudimentary processing tools.To develop innovative new equipment for processing pearl millet, one of the most widely eaten cereal crops in the developing world, we collaborated with volunteer scientists and engineers from the USDA, ICRISAT, and the OneLab Initiative. The result has been a breakthrough technology: the first successful hand-operated tools for threshing and winnowing the pearl millet. The set of devices can capture 90% of a farmer’s grain, potentially doubling the pearl millet food supply in some of the most famine-prone regions of the world.

“Sometimes providing a simple service like a grinder can transform a community”  – Curtis Rogers, NWHCM Community Development Coordinator

Partnering to deliver solutions for the “Bottom Billion”: After the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, CTI’s generous donors provided grinders to help feed and employ Haitians. Since then, we have been helping Feed My Starving Children distribute grinders to their partner feeding sites throughout Haiti. At Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, CTI grinders have been made available to people in a number of towns, freeing them from a two to three hour walk to the nearest commercial miller. With grinders centrally located throughout Haiti, community members have an opportunity to produce nutritious food for their family or start businesses.

Engaging communities Development can only be sustainable with the participation of local communities. CTI’s culturally appropriate solutions empower locals to take ownership of their future. In Nicaragua, where less than half the people have access to clean drinking water, we’ve engaged community water groups to help install and maintain dozens of water chlorination devices in rural communities. By working together, CTI and rural Nicaraguans are providing clean drinking water for dozens of communities.

Without the support of CTI’s skilled volunteers and generous donors, thousands of families in rural Nicaragua would be without clean drinking water and farmers in Mali will continue to lose half of their livelihoods for lack of simple tools. Together, community by community, we can end extreme hunger and poverty!

Published in Haiti

We’re excited to announce that a new video covering CTI’s partnership with Meds and Food for Kids in Haiti is online!

Spare six minutes for this one; you won’t regret it. View the video here! 

 

Published in Grinder

CTI volunteers Ed Galle and Dick Fulmer recently returned from a trip to Ghana and Liberia where they worked with several collaborators to conduct extensive grinder training for 25 trainers on the use of the Omega VI (photo), demonstrate the processing of moringa leaf powder and peanut butter, and present CTI’s hand-held corn sheller and the wooden grinder.

President of the Moringa Association of Ghana and friend of CTI, Mozart Adevu, worked with Dick and Ed while they were in Africa, and attested to the quality of the Omega VI for moringa production in his recent newsletter.

“Ed Galle and Dick Fulmer, volunteers of CTI, joined me to travel to Liberia between March 28 and April 4. We conducted 6 demonstrations in 6 separate locations in two Counties, Nimba and Montserrado for over 260 farmers. The enthusiasm during the demonstrations was overwhelming and the farmers and communities indicated the opportunity as a great blessing for them. The situation during some demonstrations are likened to Acts 3:8 as the farmers jumped with joy and praised God with the excitement of the “miracle” of the new possibility for them to mill their products at such a fast rate. They considered this as great “healing” of their situation and prayed to God to sustain the lives of those who help them in such “wondrous” ways. We made the demonstration sessions very practical and participatory. The farmers, especially women, took turns to try their hands on the Omega VI grinder and it was great fun! When some quantity of powder was produced, the participants applauded their efforts and were amazed at the fine and smooth nature of final product…

I will also share these experiences with other countries during my trips and hopefully [the United Methodist Committee on Relief] and CTI could begin a good collaboration to explore the possibility of support for food processing in other countries too.”

Published in West Africa
Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Iringa (Tanzania) Festival

In the recent past, one of the main destinations of our Omega VI grinder has been the Iringa area of Tanzania. The conduit for this distribution has been the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. In the past two years over 20 Omegas have been hand carried to Iringa by this group of dedicated missionaries. Most recently, a group from Our Saviour’s Lutheran in Hastings, MN took seven Omegas for distribution to various preaching points in the region.

On Saturday, November 1st, 2008, the St. Paul Area Synod held an Iringa Festival which brought together the Synod leadership on this project together with the Bishop from Iringa and his leaders. CTI was pleased to support this Festival with an informational booth. We premiered the new video, “This is CTI,” along with grinding demonstrations and other displays. CTI was ably represented by volunteers Jim Sentz, Ralph Thrane and Board member Kathy Junek.

Despite a busy schedule of events, CTI was able to renew many previous associations and to make new contacts. The telling of the CTI story was a key component of our presentations. For those who had heard it before, it reinforced our message; for those hearing it for the first time, we were able to spark an understanding of CTI’s mission and how it meshed with that of the St. Paul Area Synod’s.

Published in East Africa
Sunday, 16 November 2008

CTI Volunteer Visits Malawi

Over the past two years the Northwest Wisconsin Synod of the ELCA, in conjunction with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Malawi (ELCM), has shipped over 30 Omega VI grinders to Malawi. During the month of August, CTI volunteer Hans Zoerb visited Malawi to evaluate the impact that these grinders were having on the lives of those who were being served.

Hans reports that the distribution of the grinders is under the supervision of a nutritionist employed by the Lutheran Development Services of Malawi (LDSM). The primary emphasis of the LDSM is food security.  More specifically, their emphasis is on maximizing commodity production, storage, and conversion to value added food, food products and food ingredients. Since conversion is part of CTI’s core competency, this objective fits well with CTI. The LDSM is very interested in the grinders and supports the training and use of the machines for the production of peanut butter and flours from soy and maize. They also support the use of these machines in emerging micro businesses based at the village level.

The ELCM has placed a very high priority on organizing and developing successful women’s enterprise groups at the village level in order to: elevate the role of women in their societies, make women more effective in combating hunger, and recognizing women as a point of introduction of new ideas and techniques to the communities. The added importance of women’s groups in villages is their connection to the feeding centers. In many of these villages, peanut butter is the primary product because the Omega grinder can produce relatively large quantities of product.  Ground, roasted soy was also a significant part of their production. Both peanut butter and roasted soy bean flour are packaged and sold in 250 gram jars; or, in the case of the feeding stations, carried home by the children.

The program has been so successful that the ELCM is targeting to introduce an additional 15 grinders in the near future so that every outreach point will have their own grinder.

Published in East Africa
Monday, 13 August 2007

Wooden Body for Omega Grinder?

The genius of George Ewing strikes again! In response to a discussion on how we might reduce the manufacturing and shipping costs of our Omega grinders, George offered to make a wooden grinder. And, voilá! George made this model out of oak with metal tubing for the throat of the grinder. Otherwise the body, front plate and yoke all are made of wood in place of machined aluminium castings. Although we don't have production costs for the "Woody" as yet, we believe that as much as $125 could be removed from the inventoried cost. Additionally, because the product could be shipped disassembled, some savings could be realized in the shipping.

There is also the possibility of just shipping the metal components, i.e., shaft, helix, burrs, bearings and metal throat and allowing local artisans to make their own wooden part.So many options! A few Board members are also approaching IKEA to see if there is a fit with their philanthropic outreach and/or utilizing their supply chain to make and package the parts for us. We will report more on this exciting development as it develops. In the mean time, George, thank you once again!

Published in Uncategorized
Monday, 13 August 2007

CTI Travels to Sudan

On a sunny June day in Jalimo, Sudan, Kathleen Graham, a CTI Volunteer, welcomed twenty Sudanese agricultural extension agents to the three day "Training of Trainers" technology workshop she had organized with the help of Norwegian People's Aid manager Ezana Getahun.  The goal was to transform these agents into Ewing grinder experts, so they could return to their communities and teach villagers to use and maintain the Ewing grinder. 

Before the workshop was over, each agent had to stand and demonstrate how he or she would teach others to take the grinder apart and put it together; to process peanuts, millet, sorghum, coffee, maize, sesame, cow peas and coffee; and to clean and maintain the grinder in good condition.  Homework included each participant preparing a written training plan, which was also presented to the group and critiqued!  Basic business planning, record keeping and food prep safety were also on the agenda, as NPA and CTI hope the grinders will become part of income generating activities.

Published in East Africa