Project #15126

Help nourish 300 Ugandan children!

by Edesia, Inc.

Thank you so much for supporting Edesia's partnership with the Millennium Villages Project to help enhance nutrition for young children living in rural Uganda.

We know that well nourished children, especially in the first 1,000 days of life, from conception to the age of two, will grow to their full height and cognitive potential. This leads to lifelong success, in terms of better outcomes in school and less frequent visits to the health clinic.

Through our partnership Ekitobeero, a fortified, peanut paste to enrich the diets of 300 children between the ages of 6 and 24 months, was delivered to the partner villages. From there 68 community health workers were trained on how to mix Ekitobeero in with other foods and then explain this process to parents.

With your support we were able to get essential nutrition and training to a population of children that had been falling behind.

We are so grateful for your generosity in this important project, which has no doubt changed the course of the lives of the 300 children we were able to reach in Uganda, as well as the community as a whole. Thank you again.

Robert benefits from Ekitobeero
Robert benefits from Ekitobeero

We just received this very inspiring report from Uganda about a little boy named Robert, who has benefitted from the Ekitobeero that was made in our Providence, Rhode Island factory.

Robert Kabagambe, 16 months old is the fifth and last born to Ms Orishaba Jeniffer who is a resident of Kabugu I cell, Ruhiira parish, Nyakitunda Subcounty, Isingiro district in Western Uganda. He started consuming Ekitobeero at six months old after he had been exclusively breastfed for the first six months of his life.

When asked how she feeds the Ekitobeero to the child, Orishaba, in the local dialect, says: ‘My boy likes the Ekitobeero so much. Sometimes he drinks maize porridge in which I have mixed the Ekitobeero and other times I mix it in his food, and he cleans his plate. Even when I simply give him a sachet to eat the Ekitobeero, he enjoys it so much.

According to Orishaba, Kabagambe does not get sick as often as the previous children and she attributes this to the variety of nutrients he derives from Ekitobeero.

Thank you for supporting this important project, which has already been so life changing for children like Robert. 

Little girl in Uganda w/ community health worker
Little girl in Uganda w/ community health worker

Today I wanted to share with you the latest update from Uganda. We just received these photos and the wonderful news that this adorable little girl enrolled in the Ekitobeero program is doing well and growing up healthy.

This beautiful little girl is 15 months old and lives in Ruhiira parish with her family. She has been receiving Ekitobeero lipid-based nutrient supplements for 9 months and really enjoys it. Her Community Health Worker, Penelope Katubeho, visits her on a monthly basis and assesses her nutritional status by taking a measurement of her mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC). Both her mother and CHW note that she is growing very well.

These photos were taken during a visit by the study’s Data Safety and Monitoring Board. The mother brought out some packages of Ekitobeero to show the DSMB members and the little girl immediately lit up with excitement when she saw the packages and grabbed at them. She loves the taste of Ekitobeero and we are glad to know that it may be helping to prevent both acute and chronic malnutrition in young children living in the Ruhiira Millennium Village cluster area. 

Thank you again for supporting this worthy project to help strengthen children in Uganda - through nutritional interventions that come at a time when they need it most. 

Little girl eating Ekitobeero and getting healthy!
Little girl eating Ekitobeero and getting healthy!
Little girl from Uganda with her mother
Little girl from Uganda with her mother
Sarah, a mother of six, feeds her child Ekitobeero
Sarah, a mother of six, feeds her child Ekitobeero

Preventing malnutrition is something that Edesia is particularly focused on, and you may be interested to know that we are the only factory in the United States that makes peanut-based, ready-to-use food products to prevent malnutrition and stunted growth in children under the age of two.

Yesterday I received a firsthand account and two photos from the team on the ground in Uganda who is helping monitor the distribution of Ekitobeero, the product that we made here in Rhode Island and shipped over. It provides a wonderful glimpse into the impact this project is having on children (and their mothers). 

Sarah Nayebare (Not her real name) is a mother of six. She stays in Paragoni village in Kabugu, Ruhiira parish, Isingiro district in Western Uganda. She is a peasant farmer and also runs a small shop in the trading centre, that’s how she provides food and other basic needs for her family. Rita, her 12-month old beautiful girl has been feeding on Ekitobeero as a supplement to her diet since she started eating food at six months.

When asked how she prepares the food, she replies,’ I prepare the usual foods, mix the Ekitobeero in the warm food and then feed the child. She adds, ‘This food is good as it does not need any cooking before feeding the child, so even in the rainy season when firewood is scarce or wet making cooking difficult, my baby can still eat the Ekitobeero without adding me an extra dish to cook. She really likes it and will finish the one sachet she is to eat per day. She can even recognize the sachet and will ‘demand to eat’ for it when she sees the sachet.’ Sarah says that her little girl is very healthy and growing well which she attributes to feeding her the Ekitobeero. 

Thank you again for your continued support of this important project benefitting children in Uganda. 

Sarah feeds her child Ekitobeero in rural Uganda
Sarah feeds her child Ekitobeero in rural Uganda
A focus group of mothers and children
A focus group of mothers and children

The following is a first-hand account of how Ekitobeero is impacting the mothers and children in the Ruhiira region of Uganda. Written by Praneetha Vissapragada, an intern, it was just received today, along with some photos she took with her phone, which I also wanted to share. 

“Do you like Ekitobeero?” I asked the quietly attentive room.

“Yes” they said in unison, the word ringing in the air.

This happened yesterday in Nyakitunda health center during a focus group on Ekitobeero I conducted with 15 mothers receiving Ekitobeero. The mothers arrived in the small room of cement walls; the room damp from the rain outside amplifying the smell of the wooden benches and dirt on the floor.

The 15 mothers were of varying age; the youngest in her early 20s and the oldest in her 40s.  Some of the mothers had their babies with them cradled in their arms and cooed into being quiet during the hour-long focus group.

All of these women work on small farms and spend most of their day hurrying to plant matoke, or green bananas, during the short rainy season.

Most of them walk from these fields or their houses, sometimes an hour away, on muddy roads winding across hills to make it to Ekitobeero distribution.

When I asked what challenges these mothers faced, one mother, rocking her child in her lap, said in the local language, “The challenge is having enough food to feed your child. Sometimes even when there is food, there is no firewood to cook the food. When it rains at night, the wood is too wet to use for cooking so at times we cannot cook until dinner.”

This happens once or twice a week.

For me, it makes me question how much we take for granted.  Having grown up in the States, depending on rain and wood for meals everyday seems like a reality that would not exist in 2014. It strikes me that this not a page out of a history book but is daily life in Nyakitunda.

In this context where meals are uncertain, Ekitobeero serves as more than a supplement. It represents a guarantee that her 6-month child will have at least something to eat when the mother cannot provide food on her own.
This is the reality in the Nyakitunda and the many other villages in Ishingiro South District, where Ekitobeero serves as security against the rains and the harvest.

The resounding “yes” in that health center room now is much more understandable.

A mother and child enrolled in the program
A mother and child enrolled in the program
Ekitobeero made by Edesia in Uganda
Ekitobeero made by Edesia in Uganda

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Organization Information

Edesia, Inc.

Location: North Kingstown, RI - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Elizabeth Atalay
Providence, RI United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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