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Mother’s and Assuring Nutrition for Children

Start project:
  • 2017
  • Kerk in Actie
  • Christian Service Society (CSS)

The project aims to improve the nutritional status of adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under 2 years of age of 7 selected unions of Rampal upazila. This is a 20-months project from Nov,17 to Jun,19. The projects targeted 63 courtyard groups in 63 wards, 63 Nutrition Brigade, 7 UHNC and 1890 PEP HHs where 600 HHs will receive IGA training and support and remaining 1290 HHs will receive homestead gardening support and 200 P&L mothers will receive nutritious food.

In the recent past, Bangladesh has made significant progress in several areas of economic and nutritional development. Yet, the nutritional situation in the country has been relatively very poor. Under-nutrition in Bangladesh is among the highest in the world and remains a serious public health problem. Approximately 6 million Bangladeshi children between six months and five years of age suffer from under-nutrition, with 41 % of children stunted, 36 % of children underweight, and 16 % wasted.

The malnutrition rates are very high and improvement in nutrition and quality of life still remain a major challenge. In view of this, CSS with the support of ICCCO Cooperation have developed a project titled Mother’s and Assuring Nutrition for Children through Application of Learning (Ma’r ANChAL) to improve the nutritional status of adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers and children less than 2 years in the 7 most vulnerable unions of Rampal upazila under Bagerhat district Bangladesh.

This objective will be achieved through the realization of four outcomes.
First of all, the women and adolescent girls will be empowered through different awareness-raising activities so that they can raise their voice and establish their rights with regard to their health and nutritional need. Different community groups will be formed in the community level that will look after the issues related nutrition of adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers and children less than 2 years.

Secondly, the project will help to create access for the poor and extremely poor (PEP) families to nutritious food grains. This will be done through providing different IGA training i.e. diversified crops production, homestead gardening, poultry, dairies, small groceries, tea stall, net making, candle making etc. After the training, the target households will be engaged in different income generating activities like homestead gardening, fish cultivation, net bag making, poultry rearing etc. which will increase their income and thereby, enhancing their financial ability to buy nutritious food. Moreover, the project will encourage them to adopt nutrition-sensitive IGA interventions so that they can create their own source of nutrition supply.

Thirdly, the project will focus on basic health and hygiene. The improved health status of the beneficiaries will help reduce the prevalence of diseases that will ultimately contribute to their upgraded nutritional status.

Finally, the project intends to establish linkage between local bodies, service providers and the communities so that they will be accountable and responsive. It is intended that the impact of the project will be realized by increasing the amount of production and consumption of micronutrient-rich food crops, vegetables and of fish at the household level in combination with building climate-resilient agricultural and off-farm livelihoods options supported with greater market linkages and financial planning so that people can purchase more nutritious foods.

The above in combination with targeted nutrition and health behaviour change communication activities and gender mainstreaming will reduce the prevalence of chronic malnutrition among young children of extremely poor and moderate poor households and improve the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women.

Project Updates

Poma Knows what to do

Poma Haldar, a 13-years old girl was born in a very poor family whose father Sunil Haldar works as daily labour, living in Perikhali union under Rampal upazila. She is one of the four members of the family who had almost no knowledge regarding hygienic issues during the menstrual cycle. Furthermore, she was too shy to discuss the issues with others. However, things changed when she came in contact with the volunteer of Ma’rAnchal project. She began to attend meetings and later as a reward for her integrity and sincerity, she was made a member of the Brigade. She joyfully says, “As a Brigade member I am given some responsibilities which I try my best to fulfill.” In the monthly meeting, she takes part in the community awareness programs where field volunteers talk about ANC, PNC, childcare, benefits of mother’s milk, symptoms of malnutrition etc. She further adds, “I came to know about the iron deficiency during the menstrual period. According to volunteer sister’s advice, I regularly take iron-folic acid tablets and have been taking deworming pills every after 6 months. I am also using sanitary pads which I change every 5-6 hours during the menstrual period.” She is now well-aware about the minimum age of getting married and the adverse effect of child marriage. Most importantly she is now spreading these messages among her friends and acting as a volunteer in her school and community. Besides, Poma also received 2-days training from Ma’rAnchal project on “Goat rearing” and supported with goats of 3000 Taka worth. Not only Poma, but her mother also taking care of their small goat farm. She is very thrilled with her new agendas in life and is dreaming for more. She is very thankful to CSS’ Ma”r Anchal project and hopes to continue all the good works in the community for a longer period of time.

Joynob win over all barriers

This is a tragic story of Jaynab Khatun, an 11-year-old girl from Perikhali union of Rampal upazila of Bagerhat district. Her father, Abdul Gani Fakir, being a day-labour could not provide enough food for a family of seven members that include her mother, grandparents and three siblings. Jaynab has been suffering from malnutrition since early-childhood as her mother couldn’t breastfeed enough due to inability to afford nutritional diet during and after pregnancy. Her mother had no knowledge of balanced food and nutrition. As a result, she grew up with malnutrition. One day suddenly Jaynab became very seek that she could barely walk and talk. After visiting the doctor, they found out that Jaynab has been physically handicapped due to lack of iron and vitamins. However, being physically challenged she couldn’t attend school. She was given primary education at home. But she wanted to go to school like other children in the village. During this period one of the Ma’rANChAL project volunteers came to know about her during the field visit and soon included her in beneficiaries list. Since she cannot walk and join monthly CBO meeting, volunteers regularly pay a visit to her house to spend time with her. Later she was also considered as an IGA beneficiary of the project. Her mother was given training on poultry farming and BDT 3000 as seed capital to start a poultry farm. After observing Jaynab’s indomitable will to go to school, project staff strongly advised her family members to help her go to school and let her continue the study. Now she is a proud school going student of class four. Jaynab now becomes a role-model of inspiration for other children in the community

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