Sometimes education isn’t just a matter of teaching the young. It’s about teaching their parents as well.
Three-year-old Richard of Muchinshi, Zambia, had never walked. He was very weak, and had delayed growth because of malnutrition. Richard’s father said, “Before Outreach International came to our community, we were completely ignorant on how best we could feed our children and ourselves. We used to think that eating well meant to be eating chicken, meat and sausages, which we did not have.”
Before Outreach International came to our community, we were completely ignorant on how best we could feed our children and ourselves.
Sadly, Richard wasn’t the only child in the community who was wasting away.
When village mothers formed a group around this issue, their focus was on establishing a trial feeding program at the nursery school for severely malnourished children. Richard was one of the first beneficiaries.
The community-managed feeding program consisted of Chimamu – a “super flour,” which could be made into porridge. At the same time, the group worked on acquiring a hammer mill to process the grains used to produce the porridge – a combination of dried beans (or any legume), rice and corn (or other combination of grain), mixed in the right proportion.
Richard’s mother was skeptical and reluctant to take him to the feedings.
“I didn’t believe that mere porridge would do wonders for wasted children like my son. However, after learning about and feeding him the porridge four days a week for three months, to everyone’s surprise, Richard gained strength and weight so fast that he started to walk! As a result, we hope to increase our own corn and bean crop this year so that we can contribute to the feeding program and even prepare our own porridge at home.” Richard’s father added, “We are so happy that, even from the grains and legumes we grow within our community, we can come up with good food like Chimamu.”
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