- Project details
Food insecurity is a severe problem in Malawi. The past two years have been particularly austere and many throughout the country are suffering.
The problem is massive and beyond the capacity of any one project, organization, or even government to solve. Our project therefore focuses on supporting some of the most vulnerable. For our babies dependent on breast milk, they require a well nourished mother to sustain them for their first 6 months. For all our babies, once they begin the weaning process, if there is no food in the home, their general health quickly deteriorates. For the women in our care, many enter labor with poor nutritional health, once discharged from the hospital they require good nutrition in order to heal. Again, if there is no food in the home their illness is prolonged and the toll on their entire family is amplified. Finally, in a family suffering from severe food insecurity we cannot assist one member in isolation. If we bring porridge for a weaning infant, it should be assumed that the small food available will be shared among all members of the household. If we bring food for a woman who is critically ill, she will share any humble portion with her children.
Good nutrition is the foundation for normal growth, mental development, a functioning immune system, and a quick recovery from illness. With this project we aim to: (1) Improve the health and survival of vulnerable infants under two years in Lilongwe, Malawi by providing nutritional support and home based nursing care. (2) Expedite the convalescence of critically ill women after delivery by providing nutritional support and family oriented home based nursing care. African Mothers Health Initiative works through our sister nonprofit "Chimwemwe mu'bereki" or Joyful Motherhood to carry out this work.
Who We Help:
(1) Newborns whose mothers die in the first moments to first months of their life. These little ones face a significant risk of dying before they reach their first birthday.
(2) Spontaneous twin and triplet births are much more common in Malawi than in most other places in the world. Due to the poverty, food insecurity, and poor nutritional status of mothers, these infants face a significant risk of dying before their first birthday.
(3) Malawi has the most low birth weight births (as a percentage of deliveries) in the world. Many of these babies are discharged home to austere settings while they are still small and frail.
(4) For every woman who loses her life in childbirth, several others survive but return home with significant health issues including severe anemia, very high blood pressures and convulsions, fistulas, and significant scars from septic infections. In an environment where the well being of the family, particularly of all children under five in the household depends on the mother's ability to care for them, her illness automatically leads to an increased risk of illness and death among her young children.
The project will mobilize community leaders and members, caregivers, lactating mothers to take part.
Help us reach our goal of $10K to provide supplemental food to 60 moms for 3 months each, and 200 babies, as well as enough iron tablets and anti-malarials to combat anemia among our clients. $10 will provide a monthly supplemental food package for an ill woman. $1 will purchase a 5lb bag of enriched porridge. $6 will purchase a tin of formula for a baby who has no access to breast milk.
By supporting the nutrition of a few, you impact the lives of an entire community. Though nurses come with the intent of visiting a single mom or baby, the care received by that one person and the frequent presence of the nurse in that community has a positive ripple effect. During each visit to a beneficiary the nurse reaches out to the community, inviting members to a health talk and enlisting specific support for the mom or baby. The strongest benefits of her presence are experienced by immediate family members but benefits permeate the community. This happens with the spread of information, the access to a nurse for a quick rare assessment in a remote community, as well as with the reinforcement of support networks.
Spread the word. This is an opportunity to impact lives simply and directly. AMHI has no employees in the US. We work hard to ensure that your money arrives where it is needed most. Feeding moms and babies in an impoverished country is not a new innovative strategy to end poverty. It is a response to a basic urgent need and opens the door for hope and possibility. Please spread the word about our work and visit us at www.africanmothers.org
Thank you for your support!!