Mothers of sponsored children in Cangumbang are heading into the kitchen and cooking nutritious food for their kids through one of VFV’s feeding programmes.
Volunteers have always cooked lunch for the 35 children sponsored through VFV in the village but in an attempt to make the community more self-sufficient they have started handing over some of the duties to the nanays (mothers).
Three volunteers Melissa, Alban and Lauren came up with the idea. Alban said that during their placement they noticed that there were many people in the community not working.
Alban said: “It should be that we are helping them, not doing it all ourselves. We wanted to make them more self-sufficient. By getting the mothers to do the cooking it means the volunteers can concentrate on nutrition education programmes with the kids and passing our knowledge on to the local people.”
Alban said the trio spoke with VFV staff and then made a presentation to the nanays about why they should become more involved in the feeding programme. The response was fantastic as the mothers were keen to help.
To start with volunteers will take the nanays to the market each day and teach them how to manage the budget, what quantities of ingredients they need and give them ideas for recipes. Volunteers have always decided what to cook for the children each day and try and give them as much variety as possible.
“We will teach them about what is good food, why a lack of good food can be dangerous, why variety is important, why meat and vegetables are good for children and then teach them what to do everyday and how to handle the budget we have to spend on the meals,” said Alban.
Nanay Corazon Mabahin said she was so excited about being involved in the programme she couldn’t sleep properly the night before. “It is very exciting. It’s very nice for the volunteers to share their knowledge to many nanays here in Cangumbang. I enjoyed travelling with Sir Alban to the market. I learnt so much about meats and vegetables and what is of (nutritious) value for our children.”
Nanay Maricel Superales echoed this and added: “We have learnt a lot about what is nutritious for our children.”
The nanays involvement so far seems to be going down well with the kids. Cherrymae, 12, said: “We like the volunteers because they are friendly and they teach us to have a good attitude. It has been nice having our nanays cook. They are good cooks.”
Alban concluded: “This new way of doing things shouldn’t just be for lunch. By giving them information about nutrition it should follow through to the meals they prepare for their children for breakfast and dinner.”
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*Written by volunteer Michelle Curran, journalist and editor from the UK