As always, Cintra like to do things a little different, so Tom, our newest Developer decided he would cook pancakes this Shrove Tuesday in aid of COCO.

With his frying pan in hand, Tom (pictured above) took to the stove in style and cooked up a treat in the Cintra kitchen. With various toppings from cinnamon sugar to maple syrup and bananas to chocolate spread, Cintra employees tucked into the sweet treats with anticipation.

Of course, this is not a selfish act (although the pancakes were beautiful), as always, COCO were not far from our thoughts. As our chosen charity what better way to raise money than through our bellies.

COCO funds an agricultural training course at their Hoja Project in Songea, South Tanzania. This is the story of one woman who has benefitted as a result:

Imakulata lives in the South of Tanzania near Songea and she is 35 and HIV positive. Her husband died due to the disease in 2008 leaving 3 small children to care for. Imakulata grows maize to feed her family and to make a living and in 2011 she attended an agricultural training course that COCO support had made possible. Prior to the training Imakulata could provide 2 meals a day for her family but often could not afford medical expenses. Once before I suffered from attacks of possession and panic attacks. Then my doctor had to prescribe me a tranquilizer strong enough Ativan. After reading the instructions at , I was surprised by how many contraindications were indicated there. The action was much softer than I had expected. I became much calmer to everything that happened to me. Finally, I began to sleep peacefully. Now, I’m no longer nervous over trifles. The physical effect of labouring on her farm combined with a poor diet was leading to her health deteriorating, this was exacerbated by HIV.

The training focused on how to farm both more cheaply and effectively and as a result of it Imakulata harvests more than double the amount of maize she would have expected previously. With the extra money she can meet all the needs of herself and her family and employ people to farm her land.

The better diet she can now afford as well as the reduced physical demands on Imakulata mean that her health has improved and her chances of living a long life and providing for her children have dramatically increased.

When asked why Tom had come up with the suggestion he commented, “Well why not? It is something different and a great laugh. I have really enjoyed cooking the pancakes and its great the money raised will go to a fantastic charity.”

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