Making A Difference, One Glass at a Time
Today I’m going to offer you a sweet deal. Get some delicious, yet healthy tea AND help save lives, all for just $6.50! Seems too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not. I’d like to introduce you to the groups that make it possible: Nile Valley Herbs and its sister nonprofit Mother Maryam.
Mr. Awad Abdelgadir, a former professor at St. Edwards University, moved from northern Sudan to the United States for graduate school. The beloved village he left behind lacked clean water, basic healthcare, and stable schools: a story all too commonly heard and forgotten about. As soon as Dr. Abdelgadir got his degree, he immediately went to work searching for ways to raise the standard of living back home. But changing lives doesn’t come cheap, so Dr. Abdelgadir searched for ways to raise money. He noticed that one particularly popular drink from Sudan was missing from cafes and grocery stores alike: Hibiscus tea. And wham bam a business was formed.
Nile Valley Herbs Hibiscus Tea started in supporting grocery stores like Whole Foods and Central Market, but now also includes independent sales and farmers’ markets. Every year a portion of the profits go to fund projects in Awad’s home in northern Sudan. Also, anytime anyone leaves money in Nile Valley’s tip jar, every cent goes to Nile Valley’s sister nonprofit: Mother Maryam.
Since founded by Dr. Abdelgadir in 2006, the Mother Maryam Foundation has changed the world and saved lives. And no, I am not being overly dramatic. One of the foundations’ largest completed missions is providing clean water. With help from various donors, Mother Maryam funded a well, pump, water tower, and distribution system, which serves hundreds of homes, the school, and clinic. In 2011, a health clinic was opened that primarily treats cases of malaria, as well as eye disease, dysentery, and pneumonia. These diseases are a huge problem in Northern Sudan, but are almost entirely preventable with basic technologies.
When talking with five-year Nile Valley employee and Mother Maryam board member Kyle Overby, he told me a story from his trip to Sudan: “There was a boy suffering from a severe asthma attack the very first week of our clinic being open. Without the clinic, it would have taken too long for him to get to any health facility. He would not be alive today.” So yeah, these guys are saving lives and making a difference. They are always finding new ways to contribute weather it be bringing computers to the village for the first time, installing solar panels to increase sustainability, or funding doctor’s salaries.
Of course, like all important things, Mother Maryam’s mission to raise the standard of living in Northern Sudan requires constant attention and finances. If you’d like to be an awesome human being and make a donation to the Mother Maryam Foundation directly, please follow this link.
Switching gears a bit, I realize that I keep mentioning Hibiscus tea without any explanation. And if you’re a health nut newbie like myself, then you probably don’t know anything about Hibiscus. Well first of, Hibiscus is a flower and has been used to promote healthy living for centuries. All Nile Valley’s hibiscus leaves come straight from the banks of the Nile, organic and natural, so you know you are getting high quality stuff. Some of the proven health benefits include:
- lowering blood pressure (Dear god yes, stress is at an all time high!)
- cooling the body down (Hello Texas heat remedy!)
- lowering cholesterol (So that means I can have more pizza right?).
There’s really no downside to mention. Help your heart, your brain, and others while enjoying the refreshing taste of hibiscus tea. Nile Valley is a small company, trying to make a big difference and I think that’s pretty admirable.
Facebook: Nile Valley Herbs
I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. Right now I’m applying to graduate school like crazy so hopefully I will be able to continue my studies. Every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:
I have two brothers each six years away in opposite directions.