Leading by example: transforming nutrition in Nampula

Speeches Shim

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Amélia José knew the importance of a healthy diet for herself and her children.  What the young mother in Mecuburi was missing were some of the tools and basic nutritional facts that could help her consistently provide nutritious foods for them all.  That changed when she was paired with a nutrition mentor from the USAID Transform Nutrition project.  Amelia, who was pregnant at the time, and her mentor discussed the cultural food taboos surrounding pregnant and nursing women with her mentor.  "I learned that some foods I grew up thinking were not healthy to eat during pregnancy - such as eggs and cassava leaves - were actually parts of a balanced diet for me and my baby,” Amélia said.

Working with her nutrition mentor, Amélia also learned how important a diverse diet was to get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients for her children to thrive and grow.  Over the 5 months they worked together, Amélia created a vegetable garden and a pantry at her home. She chose to plant cabbage, tomato, sweet potato, pepper, onion, and cassava - all plants that provide critical nutrients and vitamins for early development.  Amélia proudly recounts how her children happily fill up on food straight from her garden.  "Now I have more control over the foods I give my family and don't have to rely only on the vegetables available in the market." Amelia plans to take even more control over her nutrition, by raising chickens to add protein to her family's diet. 

According to the project, many others in the community have seen Amelia's success and started changing their habits as well.  "Improving nutrition led by those within a community is exactly what USAID Transform Nutrition aims to do,” says USAID Transform Nutrition district supervisor Rainha Bonde, "The mentors just start the process.  Role models like Amelia do the real work that will last."

Last updated: November 17, 2021

Share This Page