“I hate to see suffering. I hate to see people in need and I feel God gave me a gift and I have to use it responsibly by giving back and I’ll do it until I have pennies left or the good Lord calls me home.” ~ Michael Jackson

Earth Child Orchard Malawi, 2017

MJL’s Earth Child will see Malawian children grow trees that will sustain their communities.

From November to March 2017, fans from across the world donated towards Earth Child, an orchard planted by children, to benefit the whole community. Earth Child is the culmination of a partnership between MJL and fellow UK charity Starfish Malawi.

Earth Child will give children the necessary education to understand the ecology, it will teach them how to plant and tend trees that will also provide medicinal and nutritional dietary needs, and it will empower them to reach out to their communities and bring education and hope to the surrounding community.  It is a project that touches on Michael’s desire to give voice to the voiceless: the children.  It also addresses Michael’s concerns for the mismanagement of the planet, contributing to his vision for creating a world that protects our children, with the children themselves being catalysts for change. “To want to learn, to have the capacity to learn and not be able to, is a tragedy.”  Michael’s words were loud and clear. 

The outcome will be savvy children, who are able to plant trees themselves and sustain themselves and their families. Good growing techniques and husbandry are vital. But in addition, all of the trees in the orchard are grown because of their medicinal, dietary, protein content and these will be given to the children in the nursery school to assist in the development of good health. Malawi is the world’s poorest country and the children suffer from a poor diet. Now, the boys and girls will be able to enjoy the fruit which they themselves have helped to produce.

The types of trees that will be planted in the orchard include:

1. Orange. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. They are also a very good source of dietary fibre. In addition, oranges are a good source of B vitamins including vitamin B1, pantothenic acid, and folate as well as vitamin A, calcium, copper, and potassium.

2. Mango. Mango fruit is one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruits with unique flavour, fragrance, taste, and health promoting qualities. Mango has high level of vitamin C, pectin and fibres that help to lower serum cholesterol levels. Fresh mango is a rich source of potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.

3. Papaya. Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids) and

vitamin C. It is a very good source of folate. In addition, it is a good source of dietary fibre, magnesium, potassium, copper, and vitamin K. The papaya fruit is very low in calories (just 39 calories/100 g) and contains no cholesterol; however, it is a rich source of phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.

4. Guava. Guava is another tropical fruit rich in high-profile nutrients with its unique flavour, taste, and health-promoting qualities.

5. Banana. Bananas are packed with nutrients and are good for your heart, your eyes, your diet and your mood.

6. Lemon. The lemon is a popular citrus fruit that is high in vitamin C and many powerful nutrients. Lemons have numerous benefits for health.

7. Baobab. The African fruit baobab is packed with nutritional goodness. Flood your body with nutrients for alertness, energy and immune system support with this pure, raw fruit powder.

8. The Moringa Tree. India’s ancient tradition of ayurveda says the leaves of the Moringa tree prevent 300 diseases. Modern science confirms the basic idea. Scientific research has proven that these humble leaves are in fact a powerhouse of nutritional value.

An orchard of approximately one square acre will be created from land donated by the local community, which will provide educational support for the pupils of the local school together with the nursery school run by a community based organisation called Glad Tidings Orphan Care, in Ngolowindo, both of which are next to the orchard. Each class will be given certain trees to look after, water and tend.  Watch this space as we continue to report on Earth Child’s progress thanks to the excellent reports provided by our friends over at Starfish Malawi.

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