Written by Susan Otieno and Alicia Dubay
If you’ve ever been a new mom, you’re all too familiar with the thoughts of doubt, the second guessing yourself, the wondering “am I doing this right?” that come creeping in from the moment you exit the hospital with your new, darling bundle.
It’s not a great feeling, but one thing that makes a world of difference is having support, whether that be from your partner, your mom or your friend from church.
In Mary’s case, the support came from World Vision.
Mary, 27, lives in Kenya and she’s a first-time mom to a baby boy born this past May. Even though caring for baby Festus is new to Mary, she is confident because she’s armed with the right knowledge to help Festus achieve his development and growth milestones.
Putting her knowledge to work
Mary is one of more than 400 women, who were trained on the significance of good nutrition and its impact on the health of children. The training was organized by World Vision.
“When I was pregnant, I learnt from the training about the importance of going for check-ups at the clinic and getting Iron and Folic Acid supplements so that my baby can be born free from deformities,” recalls Mary.
The new mother says that she was keen on embracing and practicing what she learnt at the training forum. This has made it easy for her to exclusively breastfeed her son.
“I intend to do so for the recommended six months so my baby can have a good start to life. He is healthy and rarely falls sick because the breast milk helps to boost the immunity of young children,” Mary confidently shares.
With her new health and nutrition training, Mary’s also been dispelling common myths about food in her community.
“My grandmother told me not to eat eggs while pregnant or my child will not have hair. But because I had learnt about the importance of good nutrition, I continued eating eggs. And actually, my baby was born with a lot of hair. My grandmother has since changed her mind on this matter,” says Mary.
She adds: “I even began keeping chicken after getting the nutrition lessons because I realised that we might not be able to afford to buy eggs all the time.”
During the training, the women were also taught about good hygiene practices that contribute immensely to COVID-19 prevention. This has been extremely important since vulnerable communities can be even more heavily impacted by the pandemic.
Watch the video below to learn more about the safety and hygiene protocols that World Vision donors have supported in informal settlements in Nairobi.
In Nairobi, Kenya, people living in informal settlements have been especially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But with your support, healthcare workers have received personal protective equipment, gloves and surgical masks and communities have been outfitted with handwashing facilities. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to children and families living in vulnerable communities, like this one.
Mary took the lessons seriously and quickly made a hand washing facility that is positioned in front of her house.
“This is important because I have a small baby. So, people coming here are usually reminded to wash their hands with soap and water before coming into my house,” she says.
You are making a world of difference
We truly appreciate your steadfast support of the work being done in Village2Village communities.
Thanks to donors like you, Mary and many other families living in Kenya, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Laos, Nepal and Tanzania, have a better understanding of how good hygiene can contribute to better health.
And they’ve learned so much more, in fact, here are some highlights of the ways you’ve helped improve the lives of children and their families in Village2Village communities*:
*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 19.
- 3,618 malnourished children were enrolled in nutritional programs and monitored to ensure they are growing healthy
- 196 parents and caregivers learned about proper nutrition, common childhood illnesses and how to protect their children's health
- 1,551 parents learned about the importance of education and how to support their child’s learning
- 987 farmers learned techniques to improve crop and livestock production to better provide for their families
- 966 people are part of savings groups, helping them save money and learn about personal finance
- 2,540 people learned about child rights and protection issues to help ensure children's safety and participation
- 13 schools were built, renovated or received resources to create a safer and stimulating learning environment for students