Focusing on Nutrition in Mozambique

March 17, 2014

chokwe_epicenter_food_demonstration_training-015_0.nodeMargaux Yost, Africa Programs Associate at The Hunger Project Global Office, recently traveled to Mozambique and Benin to observe our Health and Nutrition programs. Over a series of two blog posts, Margaux explores two key aspects of successful development: program implementation and advocacy at the national level. She shares what she experienced on her visit to Mozambique below.

The Hunger Project-Mozambique is the youngest of our African program countries, having been founded in 2006, and has recently welcomed Clara DeOliveira as its new Country Director.

Clara hit the ground running when she took office in February 2013 by putting her extensive experience in advocacy to work. In her first couple of months, Clara obtained a spot on the Food Sovereignty Network, a platform that manages the Mozambican partnership with the Scaling Up Nutrition movement (SUN). Through this network, THP-Mozambique has aligned itself with Helen Keller International which, with ANSA—Nutrition and Food Security Association, is the lead organization of the SUN Civil Society Network (CSN) and a partner member of the 1,000 Days Initiative. This partnership has allowed THP-Mozambique to be recognized as an active and participating organization within the SUN CSN coalition. THP-Mozambique is also able to join on-the-field activities working toward the targets set in the Multi-sectorial Plan for Malnutrition Plan commitment.

THP-Mozambique’s Health and Nutrition activities have been focused on the seven Essential Nutrition Actions (ENAs) that are at the core of the 1,000 Days Initiative. For example, THP-Mozambique campaigned throughout the second half of 2013 for the farming and use of orange sweet potatoes, a food with a significantly high content of vitamin A. When visiting the communal farm field, I witnessed the addition of sweet potato plants as part of the agricultural practice of intercropping, (introduced by The Hunger Project in recent years, intercropping is when farmers grow more than one crop on a single piece of land in an effort to improve yields by making use of resources that would otherwise not be utilized by a single crop). Furthermore, The Hunger Project-Mozambique is in the process of its own set of nutrition trainings that address the seven Essential Nutrition Actions. During my time in Chokwe Epicenter, I sat in on a food demonstration session looking at several local foods and preparations.

I am sure that The Hunger Project’s leadership role as part of the Scaling Up Nutrition movement will help bring the program to new heights, and that the added exposure and partnerships will support Mozambique in making their field programs even more robust.

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Health and nutrition programs such as these in Africa are made possible by a strategic partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities.