Childview

From the President: Kitchen Savvy

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Dave Toycen.

Dave Toycen attends to a young boy in Lebanon.


EVERY YEAR,
my wife and I board a plane on Christmas Day and fly to Seattle, where our son and his family live. We get there in time to open presents and, of course, enjoy Christmas dinner with everyone. Our granddaughter Rachel likes to pray, so last Christmas she offered thanks. And we are so thankful, not just for the nutrition required and received, but also for the companionship and love, which is also there in plenty. Great food and family conversation is a wonderful combination.

Jesus liked to eat with his friends. And he recognized meals as a gathering place for reminding, resting and revealing truth. Meals matter.

This is the same in the countries where your sponsored children live. Food and nutrition are bedrocks in the work we do in communities around the world. By sponsoring, you’re pitching in to add meals to the tables of many families.

As I look forward to another crowded Christmas in my son’s home, I’m reminded of another engaging, conversational, noisy, and yes, festive environment I visited in Mali.

The “kitchen”—an open space under a large tree—was packed with mothers and their babies who prepare food as they learn about nutrition. These moms share each other’s food to create more nutritious meals together than they could apart. They learn that green vegetables are essential and that starch might get a place, but not the whole plate.

These community kitchens are based on research done by World Vision’s Centre for Excellence for Nutrition. We identify families who are leaders in their communities and already nutritionally savvy, and we equip them to be mentors. These moms become the heart of the kitchen, showing other moms the impact meals have on their children’s health. 

What really struck me, standing in the kitchen on that day, was the accomplishment and joy that the women felt cooking for their kids and keeping their little ones healthy, even in a time of drought. And that is a feeling that is felt in kitchens everywhere. It’s something I will think back to at this year’s Christmas table.​

*This article originally appeared in the Winter 2013-14 issue of Childview.
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