Volunteers give local communities food for thought

VFV local volunteer Merynie and UK volunteer Lizzie serve lunch to the children of Mahayahay

Two recently completed VFV feeding programs have boosted the health of 86 children and given local mothers a better understanding of how to keep their families healthy.

The supplementary feeding programs which ran in Bliss for six months and Mahayahay for seven months were part of VFV’s groundbreaking Nutrition Project.

VFV locates the villages with the highest number of undernourished children and after a research and screening process compiles a list of the most high-risk children. Volunteers who have expertise in dietetics plan and cook a daily nutritious meal for the children. The children are weighed and measured fortnightly to check their progress.

The children of Bliss sit down to their daily nutritious meal

“Knowing these children are going to receive a well-balanced, nutritious meal at least once a day is very rewarding,” said UK volunteer and dietician, Lizzie Schofield.

VFV Assistant Community Program Coordinator John Balanlay said the project provides more than just full bellies.

“The mothers learn about health and nutrition and how to apply it to their daily lives in the preparation and cooking of food,” said John.

“They can use what they learn to create their own recipes or add a healthy twist to dishes within their budget.”

Volunteers and locals prepare the children’s meal together

The volunteers informally educate the children about nutrition while the meal is prepared.

“When they are helping me cook I try to talk to them about healthy eating — sugars, salts and fats,” said Lizzie.

“They respond well to it; they really take it on board.”

“They are very inquisitive and ask a lot of questions so they are learning about healthy eating at the same time as learning how to cook.”

Three more nutrition projects are running in the communities of New Kawayan, Lumbang and Cangumbang — which is a permanent program subsidised by the Sponsor A Child project.

The weights and heights of Mahayahay children are recorded

You can help low-income families learn how to keep their families strong and healthy too! Click here to learn more!

*Written by volunteer Emma Bailie, journalist from Australia

 

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