Foundation donates to YMCA Camp Menogyn Canoe program

“This summer the  Emily Sandall Foundation was able to invest in the ‘York Factory’ program which maintains and restores Menogyn’s canoe fleet. Items purchased include, but are not limited to: canvas, brass tacks, skid plates, new ribs and gunnels, foam pads for whitewater, PDF’s, and paddles. Individually these items seem relatively insignificant; however, the sum of the parts are the heart and soul of our trip progression. We aim to launch three refurbished wood canvas canoes this summer with a fourth well on its way for an early season launch next year.

One other unique aspect of York Factory is our paddle building program. Campers hand-make a paddle before embarking on their canoe trip. As campers start with a raw shapeless paddle blank that evolves into a work of art, the pride of craftsmanship beams from their faces.

You are likely aware that during Emily’s last summer at Menogyn, she wrote a good bye letter to Camp. This letter continues to be shared at “First Light” multiple times a summer and remains a treasured piece of writing for the community. In it Emily speaks of the beauty and simplicity of camp life. As I visited the Em Sandall bench and gazed out at the sparkling waters of Bearskin today, Emily’s appreciation for the beauty in nature and her commitment to community washed over me. Emily’s legacy continues to inspire all of us, staff and campers alike.

It is an honor for us to carry on Emily’s legacy and we look forward to  our continued partnership.”

-Meghan Cosgrove, Executive Director, YMCA Camp Menogyn

We are very proud of this partnership and very proud of Em!

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Foundation donates to Rise Now for new playgrounds to be built in Mexico

In honor of Emily and her passion for encouraging education and outdoor play for  kids around the world, The Emily Sandall Foundation continues its partnership with Rise Now to sponsor building playgrounds in Mexico.

“Now we have multiple playgrounds we are working on, the first in a small community in Oxchuc, a small indigenous municipality.  The teachers asked that the build be a workshop so they can replicate and reproduce the playgrounds around their school district.   That is music to our ears and we will probably be working with the teachers and community of Oxchuc on a few playgrounds until they feel comfortable doing it on their own.  It generally takes more than one playground before someone understands all the tire technics and safety considerations.


In addition to the Oxchuc project we are focusing  efforts on organizing with the small town of Na’ha for a very interesting build in the Lacandon, an especially sensitive area for multiple reasons.  The park would be part of a larger eco-tourism project with another NGO in an effort to promote and protect the shrinking jungle and disappearing culture of the lacandon through sustainable development.  It is through partnerships like this where multiple organizations work amplify one another that I have seen the most impact so I am excited about this project.


We would really love to continue amplifying the mission and purpose of the Emily Sandall foundation through these programs and projects. “

Bret Ingold, Director, Rise Now Inc.

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Foundation donates to the Sankhu Palubari School in Nepal

Foundation pledged their donation to the  Sankhu Palubari Community school. A House party will be held at David and Mary Parker’s house for the Sankhu Palubari Community School and our pledge will be matched.They will take a moment to thank Emily’s Foundation for continued support of the school.

We will be supporting eight additional students to attend the school.This year the students have a new school, as their school was destroyed in the earthquake.

The Sankhu-Palubari Community School (SPCS) in Nepal provides a free education — from pre-K through grade 10 — to the neediest children in this rural Kathmandu Valley area. Founded by The Advocates for Human Rights and operated in partnership with Educate the Children-Nepal and the local community, the school gives a genuine alternative to child labor and a brighter future.

Beginning its first year with 50 students, SPCS now has more than 350 students enrolled. In 2014, the third class of students that began kindergarten at the school graduated from 12th grade. All graduates have continued on to study at a university in Nepal.

The SPCS curriculum includes Nepali, English, grammar, math, science, and social studies. Extracurricular opportunities include poetry, art, music, Nepali dance, speech, and sports. Students also learn the fundamental principles of human rights through “Alfulai Chinau,” a human rights curriculum developed especially for the school. The school also provides a daily meal, health checks, and immunizations for all students.

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Foundation donates to Center for Music by People with Disabilities in Missoula

The Emily Sandall Foundation will once again support the work of the Center for Music by People with Disabilities (CMPD), through summer music and dance programs for disabled adults at Opportunity Resources, Inc. (ORI) in Missoula, Montana. Tarn Ream and Roger Moquin offer open African music and dance sessions to everyone in the ORI building, sometimes drawing up to 30 people who join in singing, playing drums and other instruments, and participating in creative movement activities. Due to the nature of this continuing program, the participants are always excited to see Tarn and Roger, often requesting specific songs and movement, happy to learn something new, and always asking when they will be back!

CMPD is a 501 (c) 3 organization, with 509 (a) (2) status, and a mission statement that sums the work nicely: “striving to make music-related activities – music learning, music making, composing, performing, and recording – accessible to children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities in the county of Missoula so that the vision of Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 of full inclusion of people with disabilities in the educational, social, and cultural life of the community can be transformed into a reality.

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Foundation helps Support Nutrition project in Guatemala

Cooking Demonstration. (1)Agroecology promoter explaining cultivation of medicinal plantsMedicinal Plants seedlingsHeight measuring.


Project 1. Community Nutrition

Child Nutrition Monitoring and Supplements

121 children under 5 years were visited at their home at least once a month by one nutrition and one agroecology promoter. They measured the height and weight of 106 children on average every month.

Children with severe chronic undernutrition was reduced from 19.81% to 16.98%.

(85.7%) of children with acute undernutrition that received supplements (Amaranth flour, and vitamins) improved their WHZ z-score. This means that 85.7% improved their nutrition score even though they did reach the threshold of normality.

Nutritional and Health Counseling for Mothers

In addition to the anthropometric measures, during the home visits nutritional promotors offered counseling to 67 mothers on average every month. The topics that were tackled in the counseling were:

1. Healthy eating plate. Promoters explained to mothers that 50% of the healthy plate should be shaped by vegetables and fruits, 25% by cereals (rice, tortilla, potatoes), and the other 25% by animal food source (poultry, eggs, cheese) or legumes (beans). They prepared some tools for explaining the plate (poster, photos) and gave the mothers examples of healthy eating plates using local and seasonally available foods.

2. Junk food. Nutrition promoters prepared and performed a theater play to explain the health impact of consumption of junk food. Also, some videos about the negative effects of this food were showed.

3. Waterborne diseases and fever. Qachuu Aloom’s nurse prepared and gave a talk about the diseases caused by drinking contaminated water. Also, she explained what a fever is, how to identify it, and natural and traditional methods to control it.

Each month the youth nutrition promoters also did cooking demonstrations using native plants from each family’s garden. The objective of these recipes was to revalorize native and wild edible plants that are available in the fields and milpas (Corn Fields), but that people don’t know are edible or how to use them. Verdolaga (purslane) and Chaya (Mayan spinach) were used to prepare different recipes: omelette with Chaya, fresh salad with purslane and beans, fruit salad with amaranth and moringa, and coffee substitute beverage using pigeon pea. These plants are drought-resistant and are very abundant during summer, even in places where it is very difficult to grow other plants because of the lack of water. Mothers were very happy with the recipes, they liked them and also some of them expressed that in the past with their grandparents they used to eat verdolaga, but they lost the tradition of eating it.

In addition to the counseling in the home visits and the cooking workshops, the nutrition and agroecology teams worked together to organize a health and nutrition fair in 6 villages. There, they talked about junk food, performed the theater play, and some recipes were demonstrated. Also, some healthy low-price products, such as amaranth flour, pigeon pea, amaranth bars, and the recipe book developed by Qachuu Aloom in 2016 were advertised and sold.

Holistic Training of youth promoters

13 youth promoters were trained in 4 different nutritional topics so they were prepared to counsel the mothers during the home visits: (1) Anthropometric assessment and Malnutrition, causes and consequences, (2) Healthy Eating Plate, Dietary Diversity, and Nutrients, (3) Nutritional properties of Qachuu Aloom’s healthy products, and (4) Revalorization of Verdolaga (purslane) and Chaya (Mayan Spinach) and health effects of consumption of junk food.

Healthy Eating Workshops in Village Schools

Finally, nutrition workshops were given to 427 students of 4 schools (Panacal, Fundacion Nueva Esperanza, Zamaneb, and Santo Domingo) by the nutritional promoters. They prepared games to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and promote the changes in behaviors. The talk was related to responsible consumption, especially about the environmental importance of consuming local and un-processed foods instead of packed and processed food, so the plastic use and garbage is reduced.

Project 2. Diet diversification through home gardens

Increase access and consumption of healthy foods

All of the mothers in the nutrition project are trained in how to start and maintain a garden. If they already had a garden, they are taught how to diversify their garden with more nutritious foods like Amaranth, Moringa, Pigeon Pea, Green beans, Mayan Spinach and others.

Community stores- healthy low cost food products

As part of this nutrition project, we have started healthy food stands that we distribute to families who run village stores out of their homes. This is to encourage the sale and consumption of healthy snacks. Qachuu Aloom makes the snacks in our office kitchen and provides them to families to re-sell. Families earn a little income from the product and village members have access to healthy snacks. The sales of Alegrias (amaranth bars) increased by 44%, probably, because we introduced new flavors of Alegrias including new ingredients: cacao, peanuts, sesame seeds and squash seed. Also, the sales of the amaranth flour increased by 28.5%, probably, because in May the nutrition promoters mainstreamed the nutritional qualities of the amaranth flour during the home visits. In addition, the sale of the recipes books empowered and motivated women to use the amaranth flour more often to cook.

Moreover, one new community store was established: Doña Gricelda Cortez Camó, who already had a convenience store, decided to start selling Qachuu Aloom’s healthy products after she became aware of the nutritional properties of our products when participating in one of the nutrition fairs we carried out.

Also, Qachuu Aloom’s marketing team carried out a survey to determine what features of the stores can be improved to increase the sales of the healthy products. One conclusion from this survey was the need of one product counter display so the presentation of the healthy products were improved and could compete with junk products from Big Companies (chips, cookies, sodas). The counter display was developed and discussed among the community stores’ owner, so the design was improved. Eleven counter displays were produced and distributed in July.

Project 3. Recovering Medicinal Plants

Utilization and Knowledge of Medicinal Plants by Mothers

In May and June we carried out a baseline questionnaire to identify the plants cultivated and used by mothers, as well as their knowledge regarding the medicinal properties of those plants

We also carried out an exchange of knowledge between QA Aloom’s staff and youth and the members of the community that know the most about medicinal plants: midwives, healer doctors, and elders. (Olga), a former scholarship student of Qachuu Aloom who is now a midwife, went to the University of New Mexico to take a summer course about Curaderismo (healing) with healers and health practitioners from the Southwest, Mexico and the Albuquerque community.

Medicinal Plant Garden at Qachuu Aloom

Also, we carried out a knowledge exchange with midwives, elders, and mothers of the communities to identify the medicinal plants that are more frequently used, preferred for treating diseases, and suited for the climate of the region. Then, the agroecology team prepared a space in the experimental center for starting the production of seedlings of medicinal plants: 2600 bags were prepared. 20 medicinal plants were selected and will be cultivated for the later distribution in the communities and the processing and selling in the community stores.

Written by nutritionist Diana, Qachuu Aloom

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