Mothers are key players in ending poverty. All over the world, Food for the Hungry (FH) is investing in mothers by educating them in health, agriculture, small business management, finances and more.
One exceptional way women are partnering with FH to reduce child mortality is by serving as mother leaders in care groups.
FH trains mother leaders in health education and then these women bring life-saving information to young mothers who are often under-educated regarding basic nutrition, health and hygiene practices. Put into practice, these simple health lessons can prevent malnutrition, illnesses and even death for infants and young children.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), FH’s care group program has more than tripled the goal for young mothers implementing crucial health care behaviors in their homes. This is greatly improving the health of their families.
The program targeted 63,110 vulnerable households in three territories of the DRC. Twice a month, FH staff met with mother leaders, who served as health experts in their communities.
FH staff taught mother leaders, then mother leaders formed care groups made up of approximately 10 of their neighbors who are pregnant or have a child under the age of 2. The mother leaders mentored and passed on important health information to these young mothers.
The shared information included treating early childhood illnesses, nutrition, and hygiene. Mothers also learn about vegetable gardening, the value of breast feeding, having children sleep under mosquito nets, antenatal healthcare visits, and signs of danger during pregnancy and delivery.
In the care groups, mother leaders also helped monitor the health and nutrition status of their beneficiary mothers and families. Women lives changed as they learned to better care for their children. Women like Mande Bibi Kawa, mother of four children, who decided to join a care group after seeing FH’s work in the surrounding area building latrines and wells.
“I learned about the three types of food to make a balanced diet, how to work against malnutrition in my household, and how to make a garden behind my house. Now we can have enough food and sell some to get money for household needs,” said Mande, who’s four children span the ages of 7 months to 11 years.
Mande’s mother leader gave her seeds to supply their home garden with cabbages, carrots, onions, tomatoes and eggplant.
This fiscal year, FH worked in the DRC training 29,610 mother leaders in various health and nutrition lessons. These women in turn reached 182,391 mothers with life-saving information. Mother leaders also distributed a total of 6,193 pounds of seeds to beneficiary families.
Through mothers, and partners like you, great change is happening across the DRC and other countries around the world. FH wants to thank all the mothers who are working together to end poverty!