An egg for life
Preventing chronic malnutrition in school-aged children in vulnerable communities
Nutrition Without Borders
NSF addresses the root of food insecurity by addressing its root causes, i.e. by implementing sustainable prevention measures. Because food security is a major determinant of the Human Development Index, NSF works with vulnerable individuals, mainly mothers and children, for whom food is a hindrance to physical, psychological, social or economic development.
Details of the project
In vulnerable countries, children are often the last to eat, because parents are not aware of the high nutritional needs required for growth. Protein sources are not prioritized for children, so protein malnutrition is common and often not for lack of access but for lack of knowledge. As a result, available resources are poorly distributed within the household. In addition, school canteens are often poorly equipped or organized or offer few sources of protein. Offering an egg a day to a child is one of the best ways to prevent severe malnutrition. This is a great start to educate communities about the importance of providing sufficient protein sources for children. Through the Egg for Life project, Quebec schools or businesses can sponsor a disadvantaged school in emerging countries to provide support to put in place means so that it can offer their elementary school students a diet that prevents deficiencies, and receive nutrition education.
The beneficiary schools receive the support of volunteers from NSF to set up a facility that will support the supply of food supplements to children: e.g. chicken coop, collective garden, aquaponics greenhouse etc. It is an educational facility that necessarily comes with a program of workshops in small-farm management or basic agricultural production, and nutrition education that benefits young people, but also the whole community.
For the community
Through its neighbourhood school, the Egg project reaches and mobilizes the whole community. Teachers, parents and community organizations are involved in setting up structures to support the self-sufficiency of the community. The means are chosen in consultation with the community and the deficiencies observed in the community. Self-sufficiency and nutrition education affects the future ability of children to eat well, but also parents and siblings. It is a cooperative model experience for the whole community as everyone is invited to participate.
The impacts for children are directly related to their ability to develop. Preventing or correcting nutritional deficiencies early directly improves their overall health, academic performance and school retention. The consequences of malnutrition are avoided and the screening and nutritional monitoring activities provided in the school demonstrate this.