Maisha Bora Programme, is a Belgium Technical Cooperation supported program through the Belgium Fund for Food Security, started in January 2015. The project is implemented in a consortium of four partners coordinated by Belgium Technical Cooperation in partnership with government institutions and NGOs. Childreach Tanzania has been sub granted by the World Food Programme where we are responsible to implement the nutrition component. The specific objective of the nutrition component is to have more households, and in particular more pregnant and lactating women and children under 5 years of age, consume more diversified foods, use cleaner water, prevent and treat diarrhea effectively and have increased awareness of HIV prevention.
The World Food Programme and Childreach, in collaboration with other stakeholders at the district and village levels, plan to achieve this objective through activities at the community, school, and at local government levels. The nutrition component will build on the achievements of other components such as water, livestock and business development and interventions. Activities are aligned with Tanzania’s National Nutrition Strategy as well as the “Guideline for Councils for the Preparation of Plan and Budget for Nutrition.
In early August, after first steering committee, the village inception meeting was held in fifteen selected villages of Simanjiro and Longido. In the Simanjiro district, the Maisha Bora Programme covers seven villages (Lolbene, Losokonoi, Olerumo, Londroskes, Namalulu, Kitwai A and Kitwai B) while in Longido the programme covers eight villages (Mairouwa, Matale A, Matale B, Loondolwo, Gelai Lumbwa, Llichangtsepukin, Orkejuloongishu and Eworendeke). The aim of the inception meeting was to introduce the Maisha Bora Programme to the community - the primary beneficiaries. This was done by all implementing partners, both international and local. Each international partner together with its local partners explained to the village assembly meeting their specific component, emphasizing that all activities will be implemented at community level.
Provision of nutritional education to cultural village leaders (Laigwanans) was done. The focus was on attitude change towards consumption of diversified diet particularly for pregnant, lactating women, children under five years of age and school children. In Maasai communities, porridge and milk are normally regarded as the only food to be eaten. Therefore key nutritional messages were delivered on food diversification especially the importance of food diversification to pregnant and lactating women and children under the age of five. With the history of the Maasai society, Laigwanan (cultural leaders) as the first people whom might accept or reject anything which they see do not add any value. However, the meeting opened up their mind, as they understood the project concept and its benefit to the community. They agreed to be ambassadors in advocating for social and behavioral communication change in nutrition, to the rest of the community members. Not only advocating, but also participating in all nutrition activities at community level.
Lobbying with the school committees, cultural and village leaders on initiation of school feeding programme and inclusion of vegetables and animal products in school meals. This activity was conducted in seventeen schools, seven in Simanjiro and ten in Longido. In Longido, among the ten school visited two schools were secondary schools and the rest were primary school.
The activity was based on getting acceptance of supporting school feeding programme by school committee and village leaders through lobbying technics.
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