A, B, C of farming for CREER

A is for avocados, we hope to have a tree or two on the land

B is for bananas, which are native to Cote d’Ivoire & will be grown with the expert eye of one of our Ivorian board members.  They contain at least 10 percent of a recommended daily intake of carbohydrate in the form of fibre and sugar. Also rich in potassium and the vitamins A, B-6 and C.  Bananas provide about 105 calories, whilst containing negligible amounts of sodium and fat.  Ideal for the children’s diet.   http://www.livestrong.com/article/530296-what-nutritional-qualities-are-bananas-heavy-on/#ixzz2Kc7J8vNo  Please also see P for Plantains (large bananas)

ChickenC is for chickens, we aim to buy a few hens and several dozen chicks, use them for their eggs & meat; if we have excess, we will be able to sell them locally; thereby compensating on other provisions such as rice & flour.

D is for dogs.  No we’re not going to feed them to the children!!!  But they will be a useful deterrent to anyone attempting to enter the centre; animals stealing our produce and playmates for the children!

E is for eggs & eggplant (aubergine) – eggs from our chickens & aubergines (eggplants) grow easily in the tropical climate of Cote d’Ivoire.

FishF is for fish, we will need expert advice and have already talked to a former trout fish farmer about creating a small fish farm with stock to feed the centre & sell locally.  A rather costly project & it might be too much of a gamble!  Tilapia or ‘Capitaine’ as it’s known in Cote d’Ivoire is a favourite.

G is for goat, these are eaten locally and taste very good, particularly when smoked.  They may not be eaten at the centre but will do a good job on the land keeping the weeds down.

H is for honey, made from our bees we hope, there’s a post about it here: https://creercentre.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/bees-honey/

I is for iron, essential part of any diet & will be found in many of the root vegetables & greens that we’ll grow at the centre.

Vegetables

J is for juice, we’ll be able to make a lot of juices from the various fruits growing on the land

K is for kiwifruit, not that we’ve seen kiwifruit growing in Cote d’Ivoire but it would be interesting if we could get a male & female pair to grow & produce; the climate might be a little too tropical.  Worth a try!

L is for lettuce, easily grown, good source of dietary fibre as well as potassium & iron

M is for mango, lots of mango trees in Cote d’Ivoire, lovely fruit to eat; we hope to have one on the land.

N is for nuts, cashew nuts are grown there, the main growing region is near where we hope to have the land.

O is for onions, a staple part of the diet, which we will endeavour to grow to save on purchasing costs.

P is for pineapple or papaya, both grow well in the tropical climate giving the children more fruit intake.  It’s also for plantain a larger banana that can only be eaten once cooked.  Often fried to create ‘alooko’.

Q – Still thinking about this … the question remains how much we can grow on the 5ha of land with a few animals

R is for rice, one necessary foodstuff we cannot grow & will cost us dearly; currently the price for a 25kg sack of rice is about 20€.

S is for sheep, we will start with a few and hope to grow a small flock to keep the centre’s meat purchases to a minimum.

T is for tomatoes, another staple part of the Ivorian diet and easily grown.

Tomatoes

U is for we need U to help us, to make this small holding a reality!

V is for vegetables, which as you can see we aim to grow in a variety of forms

W is for wild oranges that may be found growing on the land.

X is for xceptional produce that the children will be involved with!

Y is for yam, another part of the staple Ivorian diet, often made into ‘attieke’ which Americans tell us tastes like sourdough.

Z is for zuccini (or courgette) easily grown in this climate.

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Why, where, what will C.R.E.E.R be?

CREER logo

C.R.E.E.R = Centre de Reinsertion et d’Education pour les Enfants de la Rue

(Centre of Reinsertion & Education for street children)

Cote d'Ivoire near the Ghana border

Why?

Some children are sold by their families for about US $60, believing that they will have a good life with an employer or promised that they will receive an education.

The families often need the money to manage the rest of the family.

Traffickers will sell these children onto farmers, domestic homes and brothels  offering children for US$200-US$250+.

Many of these children end up mentally and physically scarred from working  like bonded slaves; some will manage to runaway but live on the streets.

Why do families sell their children?

This video says it all, it’s why there are so many children coming from the Sahel belt; the Sahara encroaching on farmland; seeing it for yourself is startling, this video makes it all a bit more real

A farmer with dry land, how can he be expected to feed his family if the land isn’t sustainable?

It’s not just in Niger, but in Burkina Faso, Mali (where there’s more than just drought right now!)  and right across to Mauritania on the Atlantic coast where many West Africans are working for a pittance & slavery has only just been made illegal …

What makes it worse is when families such as these, share their food bowl with you; C.R.E.E.R’s founder has eaten with similar families.

So many are ‘forced’ to sell a child for US$60 or so, to pay for the rest of the family, buy necessary provisions or receive medical care.  The US$60 will go a long way for the family but the child who is sold will end up trafficked & working for others somewhere …

We all have to give back in abundance.  Our own way is to help the trafficked children in long-term rehabilitative care, providing an education to empower them out of this vicious cycle.

Read more here about the young girl’s legacy who gave the inspiration to create C.R.E.E.R http://wp.me/s3aqBS-17

Where?

C.R.E.E.R is to be a non-profit, non-political and non-religious centre in Abengourou, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).   We expect a mix of Christians & Muslims as well as local religions; those that want to follow their faith can do so locally and will be taken to their place of worship by our staff.  We aim to work with the children, to give them future hope and be able to lead a normal adult life, after being part of a family at the centre.

Map of CI

What will C.R.E.E.R be?

As the first such designated centre in West Africa our aim is to give long-term rehabilitation for trafficked children from all over region that are being brought over the border for farming, domestic servitude & prostitution.

We’ve already talked to the immigration authorities.  The Ivorian Authorities are keen to see us set up as there’s nowhere that solely caters for trafficked children.  They house those that they can intercept at the border, wherever they can find a bed.  Our aim is to repatriate those that have families that can take care of them & educate the children that cannot be repatriated.

The idea is to create the centre as soon as possible.  C.R.E.E.R has worked hard since conception in 2010 before the Ivorian crisis and was unfortunately let down already regarding land with false promises in early 2011.

We aim to be as self-sufficient as possible, enabling the children to learn about animal husbandry as well as renewable energy sources and their maintenance.

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1.  We have been promised 5-hectares of land just over the border from Ghana in Cote d’Ivoire’s 10th largest town, Abengourou.  We will build the centre with single sex dormitories and workshops but to also create a small holding that the children will manage with tutors.

a)  The centre will provide accommodation for about 30 children initially.
b)  All children will receive an education, maths, French and also potentially English as core components of other subjects.

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2.  On the land we want to build workshops, this will be the vocational part of the project so that all children will have a chance to leave with a skill.

We hope some will further their education too in tertiary establishments.   The workshops will consist of vocational skills such as sewing, mechanics, carpentry and cooking etc.

We have a wonderful manager who is now ready to work with us, he has already managed an orphanage for several years & dearly missed by the children there.   He has held a variety of important meetings for C.R.E.E.R with government ministers.

We totally trust him & believe he will drive things forward in the interests of trafficked children.

In the longer term we’re hoping to have other C.R.E.E.R centres in Africa, the next one being at the other end of this trafficking corridor, just inside Nigeria’s border.

If you’d like to help, please email us at : c.r.e.e.r.rci@gmail.com

Or join our group http://www.facebook.com/groups/c.r.e.e.r.rci/

Or page http://www.facebook.com/pages/CREER/160911540628718 on Facebook

We’re also on Twitter @CREER_RCI

Please help us to get the first building at the centre constructed

(Thanks to ThirdEyeMom for the video & Sahel update: http://thirdeyemom.com/2013/02/26/starving-in-sahel-its-time-to-care)