Once before we reported on fathers are listening to the Bushes that Grow audio content for the 1,000 Days of Motherhood project. Reports continue to come in from the field from Zambia’s National Food and Nutrition Council (NFNC) that fathers are still actively participating. In the Western Province, Wankambu, a father of four, said that the men wanted their very own group!
It's encouraging to hear that fathers are keen to learn about nutrition for their families. Family nutrition has long been consideredthe preserve of mothers. Zambia has one of the highest rates of childhood stunting in the world, due to under-nutrition. Fathers, many of whom are farmers, pay a critical role in family food security.
The NFNC has already developed a second series of Bushes that Grow. This time, unlike for the first set of programs, they included feedback from dads. They have also designed a short listening guide and feedback form for the districts. The focus of the new programs is still nutrition, in particular the importance of good nutrition for pregnant mothers and young children and the role that fathers can play is a part of it. The new programs also include easy recipes anyone can follow.
The role that our Lifeplayer MP3 units are playing can’t be under-estimated either. Priority placement is givento deep rural districts. These are subsistence farming communities, often reached by dirt roads, with no access to electricity. Most families don’t even own radio sets and they can’t afford to repeatedlybuy batteries. In addition, both men and women strongly prefer listening in a group and being able to discuss the content afterwards.
Each listener group, already builds on community self-help groups. On average, each group is between 15-20 listeners and they decide on a name and when and where to meet. One group calls itself the Blessing Group, another Twikatani (working together), another Chikonki (love in Bemba) and another Taonga (thankful in Nyanja).
The First 1000 Days of Motherhood initiative is in urgent need of additionalLifeplayer units. Please continue to support this trulyhigh-impact, high-need project.
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