Earlier this month, we launched the second phase of our Chaya campaign to improve the health of the people of Zimbabwe. In our first phase, we planted 75,000 trees throughout the country. In this second phase, we’ll partner with 20 women’s co-ops, giving them the tools and resources they need to grow Chaya and feed it to their families. We’ll also share ways in which they can use Chaya to generate extra income.

Your response to this new initiative has been incredible. Over $180,000 has already been raised, putting us within $20,000 of our goal! You can still help us by spreading the message about this unique opportunity to your friends and family. We’ve put together everything you need to start your own fundraiser to share on your social channels. Go here to learn more!

Part of the plan for partnering with the women’s co-ops is to provide five different training events on how to successfully grow and cook Chaya. On a recent Zoom call, Chris Newhouse, Vice President of Global Projects for MATTER, explained what those training sessions will involve.

“One session will be to install fencing. A lot of times they have very minimal fencing that doesn’t do a good job of keeping out the animals, so we’ll help them install quality fencing. We’ll also help with their well situation if they have trouble getting water. We’ll also introduce Chaya. We’ll teach them how to cook with it and the health benefits of it. We’ll offer some plantings for the perimeter of their gardens, and then encourage them to reach out to their communities and pass along cuttings to other women.”

To demonstrate how versatile Chaya is to cook with, MATTER partner, Blessing Munyenyiwa of Love for Africa, welcomed the Zoom participants into his kitchen in Zimbabwe where an entire meal of Chaya was being prepared. Chaya soup was simmering on the stove. Chaya meatballs and sausages were cooking in the oven. A pot of cooked potatoes and Chaya was waiting to be mashed into a delicious side dish and Chaya focaccia bread was waiting to be sliced. But that wasn’t all. A pitcher of Chaya lemonade was ready to be poured and Chaya ice cream was setting in the freezer for dessert!

On the same call, MATTER’s Ambassador for the Chaya Tree Campaign and the inspiration behind it, Sandi Young, shared her vision for this phase of the campaign and beyond.

“To have planted 75,000 trees in incredible. We’ve already impacted peoples’ lives. It’s been fascinating for me to discuss this plant with everyone in my life and no one has ever heard of it. It’s our goal to take this around the world and literally try to stop famines and malnutrition. I want to thank everyone who has donated to support our efforts. And for that, we’re going to be sharing Chaya cuttings with our donors. And just like we ask the women in Zimbabwe to share a cutting with a friend or neighbor, we’re asking you to do the same. We want to spread the word about how powerful this tree is.”

If you’ve already donated to this phase of the campaign, your Chaya cuttings will arrive after the first of the year. If you haven’t donated yet, now is the time! Help us reach our goal of $200,000 to start this next phase that will continue to improve health outcomes in this country where more than 650,000 children suffer from chronic malnutrition.

During this season of giving, please consider giving the gift of health and hope to the people of Zimbabwe. It couldn’t be easier to impact peoples’ lives today and for generations to come. Donate or start your own fundraiser here!

Watch the Zoom Call with MATTER President, Quenton Marty, Chris Newhouse, Sandi Young, Blessing Munyenyiwa and others as they discuss the Chaya campaign and the future of Chaya worldwide.