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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Great Start

The campaign to end chronic hunger in Bundibugyo took one more step forward today, as we were called to a meeting in the District Health Office to evaluate a 30-page proposal by WFP.  Interestingly, Stephanie Jilcott who worked on our team to set up the BBB program after she finished her PhD in nutrition, was visiting, and it was her data that documented the shocking 45% stunting rate in this district that got this ball rolling.  She and Scott Ickes combined their missionary service and academic research in a unique way that drew attention to the pervasiveness of undernutrition in Bundi.  Today she, Travis, Olupah and I joined a half dozen others from the district to discuss plans for radio spots, dramas, community mobilization, and general education and focus on the crucial issue of child feeding.  The conversation ranged from the possibility of establishing a radio station (any takers?) to the nuances of language choice and the motivations behind cocoa production.  We're big advocates of emphasizing the connection between school performance (highly valued by parents) and early nutrition (harder to see and value).  Rather than policing how much land a family devotes to vegetable production, teach them the importance of a varied and calorie-adequate protein-rich diet and then let them make good choices.  

A month or so ago, before the big launching party, some reporters visited our hospital.  They are just now filing their reports, so if anyone wants to read a story from the national paper on Easter, here it is:
 In case you're wondering, I'm Myra and Nathan is Eldad.  

And the catchy song that says that REAL parents feed their children:   Uwe mubyaye weniniye, olisiya abaana bawee!

It's jingling in my mind even as I type.  This is our five loaves, the breaking and giving of our small resources in a way that can multiply and feed thousands.

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