As a result of its remote location and limited access to health education, Akwaya Subdivision experiences serious malnutrition, most notably amongst women and children. As the diet in this area is primarily carbohydrate based, children experience acute symptoms of protein, vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This impairs their ability to study and learn effectively and to participate in a productive capacity, making other development initiatives more difficult to achieve.
FORUDEF aims to educate participants on a balanced diet and the impact of nutrition on health, while increasing their access to affordable protein sources. The program includes nutrition workshops and discussion, cooking demonstrations to practice using a diversity of locally grown crops rich in protein and vitamins, a seed bank where bean and groundnut seeds will be loaned, and skill development for cultivating and storing these new crops. Composting and organic farming will also be discussed.
The intended community nutrition program is unique and empowering; instead of resources or capital, the input is primarily education. Once women have understood the need for healthy eating, the potential for this knowledge to spread and its impact to multiply is boundless. FORUDEF is targeting women so that they can choose to grow and cook nutritious foods for their families and pass on this knowledge to their children. In time, balanced eating will be a natural choice for all villagers.
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