Co-operatives help moms keep kids healthy

Jan 27, 2017
By Ibrahima Diallo; Edited by Jeannine d’Entremont-Farrar

​Moms in Aicha’s community are resilient, trying hard to provide for their families with very little.  Even so, despite their best efforts, many children suffer from malnutrition.

Unemployment, lack of training and few ways to make money are the reality for many families.

Thanks to women’s co-operatives, and the support of World Vision, mothers like Aicha, president of her co-operative, are able to turn this situation around.

"Thanks to World Vision, our co-operative members received training in tinting and sewing along with funds to start an income generating activity,” explains Aicha. “We received fabric, dyes and four sewing machines, along with training, to improve our household income.”

At the same time, to help rehabilitate their malnourished children, mothers learned how to prepare nutritious meals using locally available ingredients, such as lentils and flour. Over the course of 12 days, they gathered at a member’s home and fed their underweight children the foods they’d been learning to prepare. After the 12 days, community health volunteers continued monitoring the children in their homes for two weeks to ensure they were still gaining weight.

“Our children are now healthier than ever and well-nourished as well,” said mother of five, Oumoukelthoume Diallo. 

With the income from their sewing and fabric dyeing and what they’ve been learning about preparing nutritious meals for their children, these women now have the knowledge and ability to keep their kids healthy.