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Fighting malnutrition requires change of mindset

Mukagatana Fortunée,Vice-Mayor-of-Muhanga district (L) Julie Crowley(M)from  Office of the High Commission of Canada and Ndagijimana-Lihotely,President of ADBEF(R).jpg

After a training of 150 rural women accompanied by their husbands under the theme “promoting the role of the rural women in reproductive health and  health needs in Rwanda”, the participants from Cyeza Sector, District of  Muhanga, have come out convinced that malnutrition is not a consequence of poverty but an unbalanced preparation of local food resources.

This training was conducted with the support of “Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)” in partnership with the Association ADBEF (Association pour la Défense des droits, de Développement durable et du Bien-être Familial), and was based on the role of rural women in promoting family well-being by approaching their neighbors in the village and discuss their daily lifestyle.

In the context of the fight against malnutrition, the aspects adressed are the Community demonstration of cooking and model kitchen garden, distribution of vegetable seeds and the provision of farm animals to protect beneficiaries.

The Vice Mayor of the Muhanga District  in charge of Social Affairs , Mukagatana Fortunée, who closed the training, said that malnutrition was noticed in this administrative entity, but that strategies were quickly put in place to combat this problem. .

“For more than 300 cases, the first step was to distribute milk to these children through their parents, but the parents started selling the milk or distributing it to other children who were not malnourished”, said the Vice Mayor.

To combat these behaviors, it was decided, among other strategies, that malnourished children should receive this milk at the nearby Nutrition Center. She added that parents were urged to have a model kitchen garden and grow different vegetables.

Still talking about measures to fight against malnutrition, Ndagijimana Lihotely, Founder President of ADBEF said that “the beneficiaries of the training were urged to make good use of the food in their rural areas and prepare meals in such a way that the nutritional values ​​are balanced there.

He pointed out that it was in this context that they were trained to cook balanced, received seeds of vegetables and  the provision of farm animals (pigs) to protect beneficiaries , as well as they were called to cultivate  a model kitchen garden.

July Crowley, Head of Office, Counceller and Council, Government of Canada Office of the High Commission of Canada, congratulated the trained women and their husbands, recalling the role of the Canadian government in promoting gender.

“I invite you to work closely with the grassroots authorities, but above all, be  leaven in your respective environments,” she recommended to women.

Mukanyandwi Bernadette, who spoke on behalf of the other women, said they were satisfied with the training and that they will change attitudes in their neighborhood to better fight against malnutrition.

In his address, Mukanyandwi promised, “We are going to be leaven in our villages, and we will approach our neighbors who have not benefited from this training to share with them what we have acquired”.

ADBEF is a youth-based non-governmental organization with headquarters in the Kimisagara Sector, Nyarugenge District, Kigali City, specifically in the Kimisagara Football for Hope Center.

Jean Louis KAGAHE

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