With the pandemic, it's not just travel to the South that has stopped… international aid too! Nutrition Without Borders is constantly innovating to adapt to this new reality, which seems to be here to stay. But how can we support projects without moving, other than by giving confidence to local resources? Sometimes it only takes a little to leave the wheel…
Fortunately, NSF has always prioritized, during each of its missions abroad, to create as many multiplier agents as possible. Thus, during the 500 days of missions, including those in So-Ava for the Egg for Life project, we carried out all the field work involving several nutritionists and agronomists, in anticipation that they would take over. A wise decision!
To support the implementation of local professionals, NSF is already working remotely to provide this mentoring, and we know how difficult this can be, mainly because of the problems of internet connections, and the lack of financial means of these professionals to obtain fairly new computers or cell phones, therefore compatible with the technology we take for granted. Zooming in in Benin is an adventure in itself!
Nutrition education: the cornerstone of malnutrition prevention
Here, education in school nutrition is self-evident. But it is a real innovation in emerging countries, an innovation that makes a lot of sense but is not widespread. Yet this is what helps cut the grass underfoot to malnutrition for all generations to come! These young students, of whom nearly 1 in two were malnourished when we passed, are the parents-to-be of tomorrow. What they learn, siblings benefit from, and parents and teachers are also targeted by the program's activities. By following school throughout the school year, the Egg for Life program provides them with the tools to prevent malnutrition through better nutrition and prepares them for self-sufficiency through basic agronomy skills. The impact is tangible and major for the entire community.
To support a school for a whole year, the costs of local professionals must be covered, training equipment, teaching materials, etc. It is impossible to launch such support without being fully assured beforehand that support will be maintained until the end of the school year. The results on the nutritional status of children depend on this constant support. That's why recurring gifts are so appreciated! This is how NSF can predict how many schools it can support, and that promises can be kept.
The International Committee: NSF tentacles elsewhere in the world
It is because NSF has always involved the beneficiaries themselves that the collaboration on the ground has been able to continue despite the pandemic! Nutrition Without Borders now has members from several countries and the number is growing! The International Committee is a safe space for professionals and volunteers from several countries to work together to find solutions to nutrition problems. Thus, projects can come to life in several countries at the same time. Together we are stronger!
Our international representatives are:
Benin: Armand Acakpo, nutritionist and Fabrice Tchabossou, agronomist
Democratic Republic of Congo: Dr. Nathan Buduntidi, physician
Burkina Faso: Mathe Allah Fonfounsi, nutritionist
Cameroon: Jules Azemfack, nutritionist
Ivory Coast: Pierre Abro, agronomist
Pôle NSF France: Morane Gillet