Thanks to a $1.06-million gift, UWO will expand its Western Heads East program that provides disease-fighting probiotic yogurt to people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Western Heads East, which began in 2003 by a group of Western students, faculty and staff, helps teach East African mothers – affectionately called Yogurt Mamas – to produce potentially life-saving probiotic yogurt.

Western professor Marianne Larsen, a Western Heads East chair, made the donation.

“I have been completely inspired by Western Heads East,” Larsen said in a release. “It’s incredible what the Yogurt Mamas have accomplished in their kitchens and the tremendous impact the production of yogurt has had on their lives, and the lives of their families and people, young and old, living with HIV/AIDS.”

The Yogurt Mamas will see an immediate upgrade to four existing yogurt kitchens in Tanzania and 16 new kitchens throughout East Africa. This translates into increasing capacity to feed 1,100 people daily living with HIV/AIDS over the next 10 years.

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