Support Nutrition Education in Kinshasa
We’re happy to share with you an update from our friends in Kinshasa:
SOLDEM began a weekly screening campaign for malnourished children during the month of May. Parents were also given a blood pressure test coupled with a nutrition education session. For the first screening, 30 children and 14 parents attended. Nine children were diagnosed with malnutrition of varying acuteness, and no cases of hypertension were diagnosed among the parents. The program’s aim, in addition to diagnosis and education, also included sensitizing residents of the Kindele district to regular screening.
On the weekends from the end of May, SOLDEM began a nutritional rehabilitation program at the center, using a mixture of local foods, and in June offered screenings and nutritional support for children with nutritional problems twice a month.
Plentishare supports SOLDEM, a nonprofit organization dedicated to confronting the challenges of hunger and malnutrition in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We helped them to purchase classroom materials such as desks, chairs, and basic cooking equipment, in order to educate mothers in basic nutrition and give guidance for feeding their children. Mothers were trained in finding and cooking healthy, inexpensive, and locally available foods, while their children were fed at the same time.
SOLDEM stands for Solidarité et Développement pour Enfant et Mere (Solidarity and Development for Mother and Child). It was founded in Kinshasa in 2012 by Dr. Dieu Donné Nyembue and colleagues. In addition to serving poor people in the University neighborhood by giving free basic medical care, they have started to educate mothers in the important fundamentals of nutrition. In this way they are not only feeding families, but also teaching mothers how to nurture their own children independently. Plentishare is helping SOLDEM to equip a training center, a series of classrooms to be used in this work. Eventually, mothers who are trained at SOLDEM will be able to train others, creating a sustainable model of community education.
Dr. Dieu Donné Nyembue
Dr. Nyembue is a highly educated ENT specialist. Only about 30 ENT specialists serve a population of 78 million inhabitants in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Access to medical care is limited by lack of resources in many poor areas. Mothers, children, and the impoverished often die for lack of proper, healthful food. Compassion has driven Dr. Nyembue and friends to the streets to combat malnutrition and infant mortality.
Across the globe, malnutrition in children may result in both short- and long-term negative health outcomes. The World Health Organization estimates that malnutrition causes 54 percent of child mortality worldwide, about a million children each year. Malnutrition is primarily caused by poverty, with connected challenges of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or hygiene, and disease. Nearly 800 million people in the world do not eat enough food to lead a healthy life, and most of this vulnerable population is located in developing countries.
Children’s nutrition in the first five years of life depends strongly on the nutrition and education of mothers during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and beyond. Thus, focusing on educating mothers before and during this crucial period in their children’s lives can dramatically transform outcomes for children, giving them a better start in life. SOLDEM finds vulnerable mothers and educates them in the key elements of nutrition, hygiene, and health that can greatly improve their children’s prospects.
Can you help?
Please consider participating in this important work. We can work together to alleviate suffering and bring joy. Even small donations can make a big difference. Thank you for your consideration.