Joan Poon: Fighting malnutrition with coconut oil

0

Realising the connection between the coconut oil, in this case, a cooking oil, her increased immunity to the diseases and general health and daily energy – she began to think of the possibility of the oil usefulness for others, especially for communities where even basic nutrition is a luxury.

In her interview with Stomp she said, “I didn't want to keep my experience to myself, I realised that if we could make coconut cooking oil a staple in less-developed communities, we could transform the lives of millions of people for the better."

Ms Poon wrote on one of her post on Facebook, “When I took part in aid work in Indonesia and Thailand, I saw thousands of people literally sleeping in garbage without enough food to eat. Many of these people fall victim to diseases and lack the physical strength for even basic jobs – all because of malnutrition.”

“I realised that one of the many ways you can improve an entire community’s nutrition is by introducing healthier cooking oil– something that every community already uses,” she wrote.

She has transformed her thoughts into action and has organised ‘Add Oil’, a non-profit crowdfunding base to supply coconut cooking oil to communities suffering from widespread malnutrition.

Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – also found in mothers’ milk – which dramatically reverse malabsorption of nutrients and cause rapid, well-documented improvements in overall health.

Ms Poon is making efforts to raise funds sufficient to produce 30,000L of coconut cooking oil a year, to supply for three communities:

  • Moises Padilla, Philippines, where 1 in 10 children aged six and under don't have enough to eat,
  • Thusalushaka, South Africa, where only 15% of families get proper basic nutrition,
  • Lesotho, where malnutrition and diseases contribute to around 1 in 10 children dying before their fifth birthday.

Add Oil is sponsored by Medella, a coconut cooking oil producer in South-East Asia's, which has agreed to provide all 30,000L of oil at manufacturing cost. And World Vision will work with her and the Add Oil team to distribute the cooking oil to communities with the greatest need.

So far, around USD$2,200 has been raised for her projects on the fundraising site, still a long way from her intended target of USD$30,000.

Parallel with her character to act on thoughts, Ms Poon has also recently involved in food aid movement in Indonesia and Laos.

She said, "I've learnt that if you have something good, the best thing you can do is share it. Even the smallest contribution to Add Oil can go a long way to giving those less fortunate a brighter, fuller future."