SIA grant helps prisoners in Ghana

‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ –Matthew 25:40

Part of our mission at SIA is to serve God by empowering others. The passage above clearly states that, indeed, the best way to serve God is to help others, especially those in need. In the Bible parable, those who helped did so by providing clothing, caring for the sick, and visiting those in prison.

Prison officers and their wives enjoy Moringa enriched meat pies.

Prison officers and their wives enjoy Moringa-enriched meat pies.

An inspiring expression of this good action, Newton Amaglo, a SIA grant recipient and professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, is now working with over 400 officers and 2,000 inmates at four prisons new Kumasi to help them improve their diets.

So far Newton and his team have contributed free samples, 50 grams for each prisoner, of the highly nutritious Moringa leaf powder to the prisons. That’s a significant supplement to the prison diet, especially considering that just one gram of Moringa has the same nutrients as:

nutrition facts for Moringa

Considering the rumors of poor food in prisons in the US, we could take this as a lesson!

In these Ghanaian prisons, now, the leaves are used in tea and as a supplement in meat pies. Newton and his team have also recommended Moringa for use in the infirmary because of its many know medicinal healing qualities.

This is not just a handout; Newton also knows the importance of training the inmates. When giving aid the best help leaves the recipient with skills they can use long into the future. As such, Newton claims that the greatest success of the project so far is that “the prisoners are learning the technology of Moringa cultivation and processing so that they can live their lives on it even after serving their sentences.”

Not only do we want to care for our brothers and sisters, we also want to care for our earth. Moringa helps with this too. Newton, who also works as Scientific Manager for Moringa Partners, a Moringa discussion forum, recently recorded this podcast about the ways that Morniga can help combat global warming. (His voice is pretty difficult to hear, but the information is very interesting.) Since Moringa grows so quickly, it can help reforest the denuded land. Its green leaves are also high in chlorophyll and in the podcast Newton tells how these trees can absorb carbon dioxide at a faster rate than an average tree. Another interesting fact: there are currently studies being conducted to see if Moringa can reliably used as a biofuel, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. If you want to read more, Trees for Life has a good, reputable resource page about Moringa.

Wow! Every time I read about Moringa, it is a bit clearer why people call it the “Miracle Tree”. And Newton’s work visibly embodies our passion for providing individuals with simple tools that can drastically improve their lives.

50g Moringa samples are handed over to the prison officers

50g Moringa samples are handed over to the prison officers

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  1. A Phone Call from Ghana | Spirit in Action - March 17, 2011

    [...] July 2010, I wrote about how Newton and others on his research team used a SIA Community Grant to train [...]

  2. Local Action Shapes Lives in Ghana - Spirit in Action - January 17, 2012

    [...] Moringa in Prison [...]

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