“Staying healthy is not out of our reach, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. This is a mentality that so many people have held only because they lack information. Individuals and communities need access to information on food and natural remedies that are safe, affordable and within their reach to stay healthy. This is what this guide provides.“ These were the introductory remarks made by our Executive Director, Jedidah Maina, during the launch of the Second Edition of ‘Using our Traditions’ A Herbal and Nutritional Guide for Kenyan Families.
The launch was held on the 21st of August 2020 at the National Museums of Kenya. It was indeed an exciting day to celebrate the release of the new edition of the guide, a product of rigorous research with experts and multiple engagements with our communities over a period of two years. The second edition of the guide builds on the first providing more nutritional and herbal strategies and remedies that are from our Kenyan traditions and cultures.
While giving the contextual speech, TICAH’s Founding Director Mary Ann Burris helped us reflect on the importance and inclusivity of the work, “The information that it holds is for us all and represents the spirit of TICAH’s work; listening and learning from different community groups, herbalists, botanists, and medical practitioners, and sharing what we learnt on nutrition, strategies for self-care, home and herbal remedies and recipes for preventing, managing and treating a wide range of illnesses or conditions that could be dealt with safely at home”, she noted.
Hearing the stories of our beneficiaries on how the first edition of the guide transformed their health and well-being was so inspiring and gave ground for all the effort and hard work put towards writing the second edition. One of our community beneficiaries and also a TICAH community facilitator, Sarah Florence, narrated how her journey to healthy and positive living was influenced by participating in the TICAH Healthy Household program (HH) and later, using the guide. Sarah mentioned that the guide is like her bible, she uses it as an everyday reference manual in managing her HIV status and general health since she joined the HH program 12 years ago. “The knowledge from the guide is invaluable,” Sarah noted. Sarah Florence and another participant shared about how excited they are with the release of the second edition as it now provides more information on nutrition, daily healthy practices, and management of opportunistic and common illnesses, that they intend to continue sharing with their community support groups.
Ms Tara Fitzgerald, who supported TICAH in producing the second edition of the guide was present to unveil the book. While explaining the book’s contents, she mentioned that “many of the plants growing abundantly in our communities that are seen as ‘weeds’ are an amazing source of medicine that can support us in building resilient good health,” says Ms. Tara Fitzgerald, author of the guide. She noted that the plant medicine, recipes, and advice in the book are a way of bringing some of our traditional ways of treating illnesses and promoting health into our households.
After the unveiling, we continued the conversations, attendees mingling as TICAH staff and beneficiaries engaged with the media. We concluded with sales of the book and subsequent book signings. The event was most definitely a success! It was quite an enjoyable afternoon.
Catch a recorded live-stream of the event here. To get the book, call +254 710.272.175 for orders and delivery. You can also visit your nearest branch of the Text Book Centre to get a copy.