The Chaya project is being funded by John Huie, a member of Tice United Methodist Church in Fort Myers, Florida. He retired from Purdue University as professor and administrator. He has multiple degrees — bachelor, master and Ph.D. — in agriculture economics.
He also has a unique tie to Africa University. His parents were United Methodist missionaries in Zimbabwe and he was born at Old Mutare Mission. The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe donated 1,542 acres of land in the Nyagambu River Valley across the road from the Old Mutare United Methodist Mission Center to establish Africa University.
Chaya is a spinach-like plant that grows naturally in South America but has now become a new means of providing nutrition, rich in vitamins to women and children of Zimbabwe. It is ideal because it can thrive in dry, arid regions. The plant is high in iron content, especially beneficial for newly delivered mothers, who require iron replacement after delivery.
This is one of many ways that volunteers can help educate and promote better nutrition in areas needing better food security.