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Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning

Combating Malnutrition in Niger

At the age of 16, Nate Bramsen saw the need to invest his life into the abused, neglected, and abandoned children of the world. During the 2015 Spring semester Bramsen continued his journey by completing his report titled Combating Malnutrition in Niger Through Courtyard Gardens in partial fulfillment of his Master of Science of Community Development degree. LARCP offers the online degree through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance.

“We live on a planet where every three point six seconds, a life is taken from starvation or malnutrition. One epicenter of this tragedy is Kwara Tagi, Niger in Africa,” Bramsen said. “The focus of this work addresses the question, “What is the potential for significantly reducing malnutrition in Kwara Tagi through sustainable intervention using Moringa trees in courtyard gardens in a manner accessible to all, without dependence on outside resources, while providing an outlet for new economic opportunity?”

Life in Kwara Tagi

he infographic above, featured in Bramsen’s thesis, shows the average household in Kwara Tagi

Bramsen’s work researches, articulates and suggests the potential found in a simple and strategic path of implementing Moringa trees in courtyards for the purpose of eradicating malnutrition and providing new economic opportunities. His plan proposes little initial funding needs by using resources that already exist and are not currently being utilized. He states that this approach empowers the local people without creating any dependency on outside intervention.

Nathan Bramsen

The infographic above, featured in Bramsen’s thesis, shows the nutritional value of the Moringa Leaf (Gopalan, 2011)

“This plan would provide an economic boost to families, increase community capital, begin the reversal of desertification, work towards eradicating malnutrition, all while engaging youth in envisioning the possibilities surrounding them,” Bramsen said.

Bramsen completed his degree while living in Niger Africa where he oversees various international projects and youth discipleship ministries. Before moving to Niger, he founded ROCK International (an acronym for Relief, Opportunity, and Care for Kids). ROCK is a non-profit organization for children trapped in situations of crisis.

The LARCP Department was happy to have Bramsen on campus for graduation where he had the opportunity to discuss the benefits of the Community Development program and meet his major professor Dr. Huston Gibson face-to-face for the first time.


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