I wonder whether all your readers enjoy and gain as much from the esteemed paper as I do. Footsteps really gives us all we would like to know about our precious lives, while still battling for the eternal one. Apart from the health advice we get from it, we are also encouraged with bible studies for our spiritual health. I like to hear of how God uses his people in research work to help us with things like vaccines for the dreaded malaria.

After reading from your past papers about local alternative cures for some minor ailments, I have experimented with some and come out with very encouraging results.

Finally I would like to tell you that it is a pity I cannot keep my copies since my friends and workmates who find the paper very helpful, scramble for my copies. In the future we would like to contribute to the magazine if we know the next issues in time.

May the Lord keep you up for this good piece of work, and may many gain from it

Robert Muga Adongo, Nyilima, Kenya

Rural development project

The Reformed Church of East Africa started the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) in 1986 to respond to the pressing needs of shortage of food and finance within the rural communities.

I joined the programme as a facilitator in 1988, when the Project began an extension programme. We wanted an extension programme. We wanted to reach the whole family, working mostly through the adults. Most were illiterate, but a few could read at least Swahili. We encouraged people to form groups to share their experiences.

We introduced an agricultural correspondence course, which is offered by INADES. Their courses are simple to read and follow and are very practical. The first courses, in General Agriculture, were available in Swahili. Management and Development Studies, will soon also be available in Swahili.

INADES recommend that people study together in groups of eight. We now have 45 of these study groups coordinated by our programme. Both men and women study together and find the courses help them to adopt new techniques in farming, which means they can produce more food for their families and for sale.

Ezekiel Sitienei, Eldoret, Kenya

(Editor: For details for INADES courses write to: PO Box 14022, Nairobi, Kenya. The courses are of great benefit, and I would thoroughly recommend them. All are available in French as well. A small fee is involved for each group.)

Banana Flowers

I was very interested to read Sharon Smith’s letter on the consumption of banana flowers in Ethiopia (Footsteps No.3).

I have eaten cooked banana flowers in Bhutan, though they are not a very common food here. They contain some iron, reasonable quantities of Vitamin A precursor, Vitamin C and some B vitamins. So they are not only tasty but also reasonably nutritious. The buds seem to be of similar nutritional value.

Andrew Schachtel, Thimphu, Bhutan

While living in Sri Lanka, we regularly ate banana flowers, usually cooked in a curry. We also ate the inside of the stem – just the youngest part!

Jerry Adams, Tear Fund, UK

The new address for people wanting to order “Where There is No Telephone” is BMS, PO Box 49, Baptist House, 129 Broadway, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 8RY, UK.