Author: Rihai Megazuo, project coordinator
Like other friends in the village, I grew up in Luowu Township, a small town in Puge County, located in the east of Daliang Mountains. Speaking of Daliang Mountains, no one is unfamiliar with it. We feel happy living here. We eat three meals a day with some rice, kidney beans, greens and other vegetables and fruits.
But compared with the life in the county capital, the living conditions in the village are still poor. Although the villagers are able to buy vegetables and fruits at the market, they go to market every ten days, and it takes time to go a long way. For the children here, the nutrition they can get is less than what they need for physical growth.
Humana People to People's Community Development Project ‘Tackling Childhood Malnutrition: Rural development for underserved Yi community in China’ in Puge County, Liangshan Prefecture, covers three administrative villages in our township. I was willing to participate in the project and worked as a coordinator in the villages.
I loved this job. Because it could help the villagers and children to improve the quality of life.
At the early stage of the project, children in the village took the medical examination. It found that most of children in the village suffered malnutrition.
In order to improve children’s health and nutrition, the project team bought laying hens and vegetable seeds and distributed them to villagers, and taught villagers how to breed and eat them. Besides, the project team also organized training program for villagers on hygiene, nutrition and health. In the later stage, we also paid regular return visits to the villagers to assess their laying hens and vegetable plantation, and to follow up the consumption of vegetables and eggs.
With the development of the project, the children in the village can eat the green vegetables planted in their own yard, and often eat the eggs they like. They no longer have to wait for ten days to go to the market to buy those food.
What impressed me most was that every time my colleagues and I visited the villagers, the children would run into the kitchen happily and show us the eggs they picked up from the chicken coop, telling us that they had found another egg today. You know, children rarely had the chance to eat eggs in the past.
At this time, parents also added that the picky eaters now like to eat eggs. Every morning parents make boiled eggs for children, but they would be sick of it if they eat the same dish too much. So later parents cooked eggs in different ways such as scrambled eggs and egg soup according to the project training, now the kids are clamoring for eggs every day.
Two years passed. At the project closing, the second physical examination of the children found that the their nutrition had been improved, and the villagers' awareness of children's nutrition had also been greatly raised. Villagers now buy and feed more laying hens, and often buy eggs to cook for their children.
Watching the change of the children, I feel happy at heart. I sincerely hope that the project will bring more care and help to the children, so that they can grow up healthily and happily.
Tackling Childhood Malnutrition: Rural Development for Underserved Yi Community in China is funded by Baxter International Foundation. It aims to improve awareness of health, nutrition and hygiene in communities and schools, introduce new crops and animal species to increase children’s nutrition. Help parents to be aware of children’s nutrition, education and care needs, and educate children to foster good hygiene habits. In addition, provide a complete and comprehensive theoretical and empirical evidence to help build children’s hygiene habits, optimize local Civil Affairs Bureau’s child service quality, and assist the township healthcare center to develop a complete child medical care system.
The project is funded by Baxter International Foundation.
The articleonly represents the views of the author and not the views or positions of the foundation.