We are excited to report that we have fully raised our project goal of $3800! We are thankful for your continued encouragement and support, and for taking an interest in supporting meaningful change in communities in Cameroon.
The nutrition program has continued to expand, and experience success in the communities where it is being implemented. The nutrition program is currently being implemented in one village and in one school district, and is ready to be implemented in seven villages.
The nutrition program is in the 4th stage in Bomaka village, where the participants are growing groundnuts as a way of increasing their access to protein-rich food, with the assistance and guidance of FORUDEF staff. Throughout May, June, and July, participants worked with FORUDEF staff to clear and prepare land for their shared groundnut crop, to plant, and to grow the groundnut seeds. Crops will be harvested in the coming weeks, with the planting and growing seasons having advanced successfully. The members of this group also participated in a groundnut oil extraction activity, where they learned to transform groundnuts into its oil form, a much healthier alternative to the palm oil most commonly used in Cameroon.
Participants say they are improving on their intake of right food since they have the basic food types and now know how to make the mix of vitamins, protein, carbohydrate and minerals. They express hope that their children will be healthier than before.
Akwaya Subdivision villages:
This is the target area for FORUDEF’s nutrition program, as it is located where the symptoms of malnutrition are advanced, particularly amongst children. With the return of the dry season in October and the achievement of full funding of the nutrition program for the Akwaya subdivision, the program will be started in seven villages in this region imminently. FORUDEF staff are travelling to Ote, Bachama, Bandolo, Tava, Akwa, Baiya, and Mukongyong villages throughout October and November to implement phase one. In this phase, women’s groups in each village will be trained on the basic principles of healthy and balanced eating, the effects of malnutrition, and food sources within their community and environment that will arrest malnutrition and create stronger, healthier communities. Phases 2-4 will be implemented through July 2013, as per the Activity Plan for the Akwaya Subdivision, included at the end of this report. Participants in all villages have been introduced to the program, have collectively agreed to participate in training, and have been briefed on the program schedule, content, and expectations. Following the implementation of phase one, a report of this progress will be posted. At this stage, both FORUDEF staff and all program participants are eager to begin the program, and anticipate positive progress.
As a result of the success of the nutrition program’s pilot phase in villages near FORUDEF’s headquarters in Buea, FORUDEF has responded to requests to expand the program into some of Buea’s primary schools. The pilot phase of this has just been completed with significant success. Application of the nutrition program to schools is an adaptation of the program’s phase one. Students are introduced to the principles of a balanced diet and its effects on their health through presentations, games, and interactive activities. This has just been completed, and a comprehensive evaluation is due to be completed in October. However, a preliminary evaluation reveals that the students generally participated with eagerness and were able to demonstrate a good grasp of the information, and some ability to apply it to their own food decisions.
Participants that have completed the nutrition program, as well as those that are current participants, are already applying the principles and techniques of cooking inexpensive yet nutritive food for families. The nutrition practice is a behavioral change process and hence will come to life much more with time. There is evident satisfaction on the part of the women and communities where we have trained so far.
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South West Region,