CBS News: Raising hope, with Peanuts, in Haiti
In Haiti's rural provinces, life is sparse, even by local standards. Malnutrition is rampant, and 78 percent of the population survives on less than two dollars a day.
Adremene Gracia, however, is the exception. In a country with more than 60 percent unemployment, she has a full-time job. Gracia makes something called Nourimanba, a peanut-based malnutrition cure.
Not only does her work help save starving children, it allows her to support two of her own.
"Just having a stable job is wonderful, for the money and to be able to send my kids to school," she said through a translator, in her native Creole.
When CBS News visited the Nourimanba project 18 months ago (see video at left), the facility where Gracia and about 20 other women worked was incredibly basic; everything -- from sorting and roasting, to grinding and jarring -- was done by hand, in a stuffy, windowless room.
But this summer, the doors opened on a brand new, state-of-the-industry processing plant. The facility includes automated machinery, clean rooms, and a lab to test quality control.
More importantly, the plant meets international food processing standards -- a first for Haiti's central plateau.
"Haiti, after the earthquake, has been one negative story after the next, and now we have a very positive story coming out of a region of Haiti that has lacked economic opportunity for centuries," said Jon Lascher, who manages this project for the non-profit Partners in Health.
PIH is the largest non-governmental healthcare provider in Haiti. Last year, its facilities treated 2.8 million patients nationwide. Four years ago, PIH teamed up with Chicago-based healthcare company Abbott Laboratories, bringing private sector knowledge to what had already been a successful, public-sector program.
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