Posted by Narayan Murarka on Oct 09, 2019
The mechanical cow is a machine which processes soybeans, water and steam to produce a slurry that can be separated into protein rich soymilk and a solid by-product called “okara.”  Guatemala has the highest malnutrition index of 54% in children younger than 5 years old. The malnutrition in children increases the risk of decreased cognitive development and slows down the overall growth. Guatemalan children are lactose intolerant and as such do not have access to milk and cannot digest cow’s milk.  A high protein content product such as soymilk is desired to help their growth at an early age.
The Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club (BBRC), District 6440 in partnership with Club Rotario Guatemala Sur and Rotary Club of Guatemala de la Asunción, District 4250 has been engaged in mechanical cow projects for several years with a goal to combat malnutrition for children and establish microenterprise for women.  Six such machines are fully operational with additional 2-3 are in the plans.
RI President Mark Maloney with his wife Gay visited the Sumpango Nutrition Center on September 2, 2019.  Sumpango is one of the municipalities in the Department (state) of Sacatepéquez, Guatemala.  They first visited the production room and witnessed the preparation of soymilk.  They were also briefed on distribution of the milk to children in different parts of the country.  They then visited the kitchen (bakery) where food products blended with okara are prepared by a group of women as a microenterprise business.  Mrs. Maloney is shown to enjoy one of the products.