The Peanut Butter House is a nutrition project in Monrovia, Liberia. The house will serve as manufacturing base for a vitamin-packed peanut butter, which can be life-saving for malnourished children and HIV/AIDS patients. The project also aims to end a cycle of dependency on foreign aid in Liberia – the Peanut Butter House will create jobs and provide training for Transformation International (our Liberian partners), and we are developing a local team to move the project toward sustainability.
The Peanut Butter House story
This project began 2008, when members of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins decided to become involved in ending malnutrition in Africa. The Peanut Butter House was constructed on the church lawn to raise awareness on hunger-related issues. While the peanut butter making equipment went to another church to spark similar programs, work was being done to find a permanent home for the structure. Thanks to existing contacts from Hope Feeds, the Peanut Butter House finally found a final destination in Monrovia, Liberia.
In January 2010, a group of eight people (plus a representative from Hope Feeds) traveled from Fort Collins to Monrovia to help with construction of the building. The house was erected on the property of Luther Tarpeh, founder of Transformation International, an NGO working with orphaned and abandoned young men, who we hope will be the first team of workers to staff the Peanut Butter House. From this location, it will be able to provide peanut butter to local hospitals, orphanages, and feeding programs.
While in Monrovia, we saw in person the need for this locally produced product. We also got to know the boys of Transformation International and their mentors – an inspirational group of people with a vision of improving Liberia starting with its young people. Later the director of the Peanut Butter Project at Faith Alive Medical Clinic in Jos, Nigeria came to help train in production and sanitation requirements.
Before production can begin, the Peanut Butter House needs some additions. Government regulations and World Health Organization food production sanitation requirements spell out a need for a couple of extra rooms added onto the house, including a cloakroom/wash room and a separate packaging room. At the same time we need to gear up for an increased production capacity from our earlier intentions. A team will be traveling back to Monrovia in June, 2011 to work with Transformation International on these projects.