While in Italy the rate of childhood obesity is one of the highest among Western countries – second only to the United States -, in Mozambique about one child out of two aged 0 to 5 suffers from some form of malnutrition. With this project, we aim to help avoid the irreversible consequences that may arise from inadequate nutrition.
Project’s objectives: to reduce drastically malnutrition rates in children aged 0 to 5 in the local communities of the Inhambane province, to create agri-food education to achieve a better exploitation of resources and to raise awareness on nutrition issues.
9 nurseries involved in the activities
540 mothers and teachers involved in the school vegetable gardens
15,000 under-5s benefitting from proper nutrition
Children need food in sufficient quantity and quality to grow healthy and to achieve their full potential. Unfortunately, here in Maxixe – in the southern province of Inhambane – many children do not get adequate nutrition. The problem is not so much the lack of sufficient food to eat (most fishing families here live on agriculture, which is mostly practiced for mere subsistence), as having food that can provide all the nutrients needed to grow up healthy.
Dona Sandra is 43, has eight children, including two sets of twins, and, like most mothers here, she spends her day taking care of her family. At dawn, she walks for kilometres to reach her land and cultivate those products that represent the main livelihood for her family, along with the little that she can buy at the market.
Dinners are not very varied: rice and beans, rice and meat, rice and fish, a few vegetables and fruit that grows in the wild.
Dona Sandra has enthusiastically agreed to participate in the activities: she attended the lectures held by the nutritionist, the practical demonstrations on the preparation of baby food and meals, the on-site agricultural training and now, twice a week, she tends with other mums the vegetable garden created for her children’s’ school in Malavane.
The meetings for women are delivering results: like Dona Sandra, many other women have shown that they have understood the importance of proper nutrition, especially for their children, and are striving to put into practice more efficient and sustainable farming techniques and more hygienic methods of food conservation and preparation.
The women attending the meetings are given seeds so they can use them to put into practice what they learned in the community vegetable garden in their own vegetable garden.
Dona Sandra used to throw her seeds haphazardly; now she knows she has to sow the seeds at a certain distance, without mixing them, and she also knows how important it is to rotate cultures cyclically and that there are other highly nutritious cultures suited to the soil. And she is also the best example for other mothers. These good practices will expand with a ripple effect and will benefit not only the 3000 schoolchildren we follow but other ones too, as well as the entire community.
We work in 9 community nursery-schools of the Maxixe District with the aim of helping reduce the malnutrition rate among children aged 0-5.
We support a more varied, efficient and environmentally friendly agriculture through:
We promote healthy food consumption models among mothers and educators through:
We guarantee adequate health and hygiene services and access to drinking water through:
Supporting quality nutrition: a project for the Maxixe District
Federica Pulcini, [email protected]
October 2015 – October 2017
Congregação Sagrada Famiglia of Maxixe
Other bodies involved
Municipality of Maxixe, Radio Progresso Maxixe, CeTAmb-Lab (Centre for environmental protection in developing countries)