Podporujeme UNICEF logoCommunity cooking and nutrition projects in Rwanda

UNICEF programme against malnutrition in children
Chronic malnutrition is not as evident as starvation that we know from regions affected by famine and dire shortages of food. The consequences of malnutrition, however, are in no way less severe.
In Rwanda, almost 38% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition caused by poor diet with inadequate intake of proteins, iron, and other nutrients that are essential for children’s healthy development. Although children’s caloric intake exceeds the bare minimum that is crucial for survival, it is still seriously deficient. The cause of malnutrition lies in high prices of food – for instance, 1 kilo of flour, which mixes with water for making a common side dish ugali, costs approximately 15 CZK/0,5 Euro. And considering local conditions this is really a lot – a female dressmaker earns up to 1,900 CZK/75 EUR and a qualified doctor only about 6,000 CZK/235 EUR. In addition, in some regions, it is practically impossible to obtain crops except for harvesting them, and people are sometimes ill-informed about the principles of a healthy diet and a proper food preparation.

Children suffering from malnutrition often develop anaemia, and consequently a lack of energy and breathlessness. Other symptoms include a short height or mental impairment. Immune system of undernourished children is usually weakened, and they are overly susceptible to common childhood illnesses. This is why, for a chronically malnourished child, even a common cold or diarrhoea is potentially fatal. Globally, more than one-third of all deaths of children under 5 years can be linked directly to malnutrition – every year almost 2 million children die unnecessarily. The consequences of poor nutrition in the critical period covering pregnancy and the first years of life are permanent – no improved diet can make up for the physical or mental impairments undergone.
For these reasons, UNICEF in collaboration with volunteers from Rwanda develops pilot programmes aimed at fighting children’s malnutrition and strengthening food self-sufficiency of the poorest communities. As a prevention of children malnutrition, we provide the children with essential vitamins, we educate mothers in the principles of healthy diet and importance of breastfeeding and planned parenthood. To the poorest families and orphans, we distribute domestic animals and resistant crops to secure their basic nutrition and prospects of their future self-sufficiency. We also support community-based projects focused on women’s finances.
Kolik stojí pomoc?
285 CZK/11 EUR – a set of carrot, cabbage, sweet potatoes and iron-enriched beans seedlings
877 CZK/35 EUR – hanging scales for children (portable scales, up to 25 kilos)

905 CZK/36 EUR – a goat*
1.810 CZK/71 EUR – a pig*
(*this is an average price, the real price may differ depending on the region and animal’s size, age, and breed)

UNICEF Pilot Projects

Projekty Unicef   Projekty Unicef
With a picture book, the nurse lectures the women in Uwabumeyi village about the principles of proper nourishment: how to cook so as to balance the food and maintain all the essential vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. We also focus on raising awareness of further health and sanitary matters including planned parenthood. In the last 5 years, the average birth-rate has slumped from 6 to 4 children per one woman.   The theoretical part is followed by a cooking practice using local produce that the women grow on the community fields and on their own vegetable patches.
  Projekty Unicef  
  Nutritional condition of children is monitored once a month by weighing; these data are entered into the child’s health records.  
Projekty Unicef   Projekty Unicef
Speciose Murowukwere (at the very left) discusses the gains of goat breeding with a qualified nutrition volunteer Beatrice Kampirwa. “A year ago, I got a goat from UNICEF, and at the right time I took her to the billy goat. It was a success, and a month ago, two baby goats were born. Now, they are small and drink their mother’s milk, but when we wean them, I will start milking the goat for our needs. Perhaps, I may be lucky enough to breed them again and then I could even sell some goats,” she presents her plans. “Thanks to the goats I also have a fertilizer for my garden. The potatoes and cassava grow very well, too,” she adds.
Projekty Unicef   Projekty Unicef
With the help of UNICEF and local volunteers, women learn to grow plants
and they regularly take part in events and trainings on sustainable agriculture.
  Projekty Unicef  
  Fish farming provides an alternative in the regions where conventional agriculture is unlikely due to infertile soil. For instance, here is a community fish-pond in Nyagatoma village.  
The results speak for themselves: women know how to cultivate vegetable, a product of sustainable agriculture, they are self-sufficient, and their children do not suffer from illnesses.

UNICEF in cooperation with supporters from the Czech Republic, strives to extend these projects to the scope of the entire country so that no child would be left behind or die because of chronic malnutrition that is, unfortunately, still rampant in Rwanda.
Projekty Unicef   Projekty Unicef   Projekty Unicef

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