Khin Myo Thant is 33 and married to U Aung Ko, who is 35; they live with their only son, Hein Aung Soe who is 3 and a half in They Sin Ku Taung village in the Ayerwaddy River delta region of southwest Myanmar. Khin Myo spends most of her time taking care of Hein Aung Soe and helps her husband grow okra on one acre of land owned by their parents during the November-April dry season every year. Their yearly income from selling okra is about $492, which is not enough to pay all their family expenses, so U Aung Ko fishes in the rainy season for food and little more income.
Not surprisingly, because of his parents’ poverty and related poor diet, Hein Aung Soe was found to be under-weight for his age during a CWS-led nutrition assessment in They Sin Ku Taung village. So, he and his mother were prioritized to join CWS-organized nutrition education and improvement activities. Of course, Khin Myo was not happy with the knowledge that her son was malnourished and unhealthy; but she was excited to join nutrition, hygiene and health education sessions because she wanted to learn more about child health and wellbeing, especially through better nutrition. She never missed a class and she was active sharing knowledge with other mothers.
After eight months of learning and sharing, she was nominated and chosen to be a Mother-Leader for her village, and Khin Myo said happily, “I am proud of what I have learned, especially about different types of foods’ nutrition value, new recipes for cooking healthy meals for young children, the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and growth monitoring. I have also learned some facilitation skills that I use when leading monthly Self-Help Group meetings, organizing monthly growth monitoring, and facilitating exclusive breastfeeding sessions for other mothers – all with coaching from CWS staff. Now I can help my son – and other children to grow up healthy. I really appreciate the support from CWS and their donors for our children.”
(For more information please contact IKhreusirikul@cwsglobal.org )