Health
 Cameroon
Project #9258

Healthy Diets for Healthy Communities in Cameroon

by Food and Rural Development Foundation (FORUDEF)
Vetted

Introduction

 

The nutrition programme that started in 2011 by our organization is forging ahead in its effort to improve on community health through balanced diets.

 

Radio Programme

 

Broadcasting on Nutrition

 

Nutrition education is continuing in the Fako region through Radio Bonakanda in Buea. This programme informs the communities on the health benefits of a healthy diet, how to ensure one’s diet is balanced and nutritious, and the effects of consuming organically produced food crops.

 

Organic Vegetable Farming/Gardening

 

During the last quarter, FORUDEF facilitated a training workshop for women in Buea on vegetable farming. The women who participated in this training had joined the nutrition program in the past, and had shown interest in learning more about the impact of nutrition on their lives- which local products have the most nutrients, ways of growing new, nutrient-rich crops, and ways of cooking these products. As such, FORUDEF organized this training to support the women to expand their knowledge and skills around nutrition.

Participants shared that since this training workshop, they have begun the locally produced food items to prepare a balanced diet without resorting to expensive items in the market, and have been able to incorporate some of the new crops that they had grown into their meals. In addition to improving household diet, the women have also been able to sell some of their harvest in order to raise their income. The development and implementation of this workshop exemplifies the extent to which the nutrition programme is spreading and informing more community members on the relationship between nutrition and health. FORUDEF hopes to take this second, more in-depth training workshop to other villages that have already received the nutrition program, and looks forward to continuing to build nutrition awareness throughout the whole southwest region of Cameroon.

 

Testimonies:

“FORUDEF has made us know how to cook and provide balanced diet to our families. We thank Global Giving donors for making this possible for us”. Mme Regina

“Thank you FORUDEF for the great information you have given us about nutrition. You taught us how to plant our food crops without chemicals, and also how to prepare a balanced diet. We thank the people who have helped us through you”.

We are continually thankful, as are the many women who are direct recipients of your generosity, for your commitment to making a difference through FORUDEF. We hope for and look forward to expanding this initiative to other poorly nourished communities. Without your generosity, we would not have come this far.

Our nutrition program continues to be one of our main initiatives and it is largely due to the support and generosity of our partners. We could not do this work without you.

Over the last year, we have been working with a Common Interest Group from the village of Bomaka, right outside of Buea. This is a wonderful group that has persevered through many challenges; moreover, this group has embraced each aspect of the nutrition program and has seen the benefits in their agricultural harvests, diets, and family nutrition. 

In January, the group from Bomaka welcomed us to take part in a cooking demonstration in their village. Also, two of our international volunteers who had helped us develop the nutrition program five years ago were also able to join us for this event. It was a great day of sharing, interacting, and learning. It was incredible to see this group demonstrating all that they had learned through the nutrition program and then teaching us how they were preparing new food dishes and explaining how their nutrition and health has improved as a result.

This is why we do this work and why it is so valuable. A small amount of education, training, and support combined with the strong spirit of collaboration and initiative amongst community groups can have a transforming impact on people's lives. We are excited to share many more stories like this with you. It is a privilege to be a small part of working with communities to shape and determine their nutritional well-being.

Thank you again for your support, partnership, and incredible generosity. 

cooking practice
cooking practice

Introduction
The program continued in other villages of Akwaya Sub Division – to Ballin this time where poor nutrition is commonplace. This training was a replication of the one in Akwaya Town.

The Training
OBJECTIVES
This project had as objectives to
• Sensitize and educate women on healthy diet
• Create awareness in women on the importance of feeding well and being healthy with the local and available resources in the communities.
• Carry out practical sessions with the women on how to prepare food that is balanced for children and the family


METHODOLOGY
• Expose/Lectures
• Brainstorming
• Questions and Answers
THE TRAINING PROCESS
In Ballin, the FORUDEF team of facilitators was presented and introduced to the women groups by the team leader. This was followed by an icebreaking activity, usually a song. The objectives, programme and methodology of the training were explained and discussed.
The chief facilitator Mrs. Tabe Susan went on to ask the participants to list some of the foods they consumed on daily basis and the common illnesses that attack their children in their respective communities.

Common foods consumed
• Banana and pepper,
• Plantain and oil, mango soup,
• Cocoyams and bitter leaf,”
• Banana and “mbulu’’ commonly called “seeking table”
• Fufu and okro soup, “tanchot” soup, mango soup, coco leaf soup, cassava leaf soup
• Cocoyam and green vegetable, bitter leaf, oil,

With this information the chief facilitator and Ms Pamela Orock, ushered the participants into the “house” analogy. In every training session, the participants were asked the question: “what will happen if you build a house with a strong foundation and no roof nor strong walls?”

The “house” analogy and questions propelled the participants into discovering the problem of malnutrition in their communities as the following were identified on the part of the participants without difficulty:
• Energy (carbohydrate) which was considered as the foundation of every house.
• Body builders( protein) which was considered to be the walls of every house
• Protection (vitamins and minerals) which was also considered as the roof of a
house.
The women were trained on the core of good nutrition - feed healthy, one had to consume a balanced diet every day which includes three types of food namely, Carbohydrates, Protein, Vitamins and minerals
Ms Orock Pamela further explained the consequences of balanced and unbalanced diet. She used the chart to demonstrate graphically a well-fed child and a poorly-fed child.
The drawings, depicted the look of children who were poorly fed/unbalanced diet
Cooking Session
The women prepared the normal food they ate and the facilitators prepared what the food should be using locally grown food. Conclusion
The women discovered better ways of preparing food for their children and families using their locally grown crops. The food prepared by the women groups and FORUDEF staff was shared among the participants, children and visitors. Thirty –eight women participated in the training.
Word of thanks
We are grateful to our donors for their generosity. It is our prayer that they will continue to help us reach as many women and families as possible with the message and training on healthy diet.

teaching aid depicting state of feeding
teaching aid depicting state of feeding
vegetable ready for cooking
vegetable ready for cooking

In April, FORUDEF facilitated leading its nutrition program amongst women in the village of Akwaya, an isolated village in the rural Southwest region of Cameroon. The community in Akwaya has long experienced the negative impacts of malnutrition; its children not uncommonly suffer from anemia, weakened immune system, and skin rashes and discoloration. Amongst adults, their ability to be economically productive is compromised by low levels of energy and diminished strength. As a result, empowering residents of Akwaya to be able to make healthier dietary choices was critical in terms of achieving better health standards and lifestyle outcomes.

FORUDEF spent two days in Akwaya in May of 2015 to implement the nutrition program with 40 women from the community. Due to the high incidence of health concerns in the village, the participants were eager to be a part of the program. The first day of the program involved the teaching, learning, and discussion component - FORUDEF staff shared the elements of a healthy diet- carbohydrates (in the local pidgin dialect and terminology, referred to as, ‘power chop’), proteins (‘growth chop’), and vitamins and minerals (‘cover chop’). The health concerns that often result from an unbalanced diet were discussed, as well as the health and social outcomes that result from receiving proper nutrients- more energy, greater capacity to do work, greater ability to concentrate and think, stronger immune system. Commonly available foods that contain each of these nutrients were listed, and participants brainstormed with FORUDEF staff various recipes they knew of that included ‘power, growth, and cover chop’.

On the second day, participants joined in cooking a meal together, which provided the opportunity to practically apply the content and discussion from the previous day. Given that protein and vitamin deficiencies are most common amongst individuals living in rural areas of Southwest region, FORUDEF prepared foods rich in these nutrients, such as groundnut soup and vegetable dishes. The participants watched FORUDEF staff while they prepared the dishes, and discussed with staff the ingredients and methodologies they used.  Then, together, participants and staff shared the meal together. The objective was to provide the participants with the knowledge to know how to cook with more nutritious foods available to them, and feel capable of preparing tasty dishes with these foods. As a result of having received additional funding, FORUDEF was able to provide the participants with a seed bank as well.  All participants received bean seeds, enough to plant in their personal or community garden.  The intention is to support the Akwaya community to have greater access to sources of protein, a nutrient that is typically difficult to acquire in Akwaya.  Participants will plant the bean seeds during the next planting season, and will be able to enjoy the benefits of their harvest.  Participants will also be expected to set aside part of their bean crop to return to FORUDEF.  In this way, the seed bank will be replenished for others to draw from in the future. 

Thank you for your continued support and generosity. We cannot do this without you.

We are greatful for your continued partnership. Here is some exciting news from the field:

 

According to the long-term nutrition program plan, the nutrition program has been implemented in an increasing number of villages.  In March, the nutrition program was implemented in Muea. Due to time constraints, the first two phases of the program were implemented over two consecutive days, instead of the usual three days for the first two phases.  Most of Muea’s female community leaders and members joined the program, such that there were 17 women participating.  Three FORUDEF staff led the program over the two days.

On the first day, the participants joined in the training workshop, where the rationale and foundation for a healthy diet was reviewed.  The Muea participants discussed the components of a healthy, balanced diet; common ailments that result from an unbalanced diet; positive health and lifestyle benefits of nutrition; and how to meal plan in a way that incorporates nutritious practices. Phase two of the nutrition program was implemented on the second day, where the participants and FORUDEF facilitators prepared traditional dishes that incorporated the balanced diet principles discussed in the previous day’s training.  The participants and facilitators discussed the methods used in preparation and the nutrients in each dish, and shared the meal together.  During the meal, FORUDEF staff reviewed information discussed in the training workshop and answered the participants’ questions. 

Feedback from the training was that the women found it enlightening and insightful, and understood the link between healthy eating and sickness in their families and community.  FORUDEF will monitor progress and commitment towards healthy eating on their scheduled return trips to Muea over the next six months. In addition, FORUDEF plans to implement the nutrition program in Akwaya village in April, and continues to monitor the progress of villages and groups that have participated in the past.

 

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Organization Information

Food and Rural Development Foundation (FORUDEF)

Location: Buea, South West Region - Cameroon
Website: http:/​/​www.forudef.org
Project Leader:
Moses Tabe
Buea, Southwest Region Cameroon
$5,890 raised of $8,600 goal
 
 
93 donations
$2,710 to go
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