In Koe Ein Tan (West) village of southwest Myanmar’s Ayeyarwaddy region, 16 children under the age of five were assessed as malnourished during a CWS-led nutrition survey in early 2017. To address this fact, which exists in other nearby village and other parts of the country as well, the children and their mothers joined nutrition education and improvement activities, which are just one focus of CWS-led integrated resilience and development work in Myanmar. The heart of the program is like other CWS programs in Asia, where we support mothers and other caregivers to learn more about basic health, nutrition and hygiene – from community health workers, including Midwives in Myanmar, and from CWS-trained and supported community health Volunteers.
In Koe Ein Tan (West) village, the 16 children’s mothers agreed they should form a Mothers (Self-Help) Group, and they started meeting in October 2017 to share knowledge and experience and to talk about issues of good young child feeding practices, including hygiene and sanitation, as well as meal balance. They also learned and talked about chicken-raising and home gardening, which they all do with CWS support.
Recently, two of the most active 16 group members were selected as Mother-Leaders, and they are now responsible organizing monthly growth monitoring for their children and for facilitating discussions during meetings that they organize for the group. A favorite activity for all members is when the Mother-Leaders go step-by-step to show how to make a nutrition soup from local vegetables, some of which they grow themselves. The take-away is, literally, just that: healthy food to take home for their children! And, of course, the knowledge of how to prepare a healthy new dish for the whole family!
(For more information please contact IKhreusirikul@cwsglobal.org )