Every month, Global Volunteers’ caregivers in the Ukwega Ward of Tanzania meet with families who wish to participate in the Reaching Children’s Potential (RCP) Demonstration Program. The goal of RCP is to eliminate childhood stunting in all five of the villages served: Ipalamwa, Makalanga, Lulindi, Ukwega, and Makungu. Specifically, families obtain the nutrition, health care, knowledge, technology, and encouragement needed to combat stunting, and to ensure their children can realize their full potential. We’re happy to welcome Alida Mhongole to the RCP “family” this month.
Alida Mhongole, age 20, was born and raised in Ukwega village. She’s a single mother of two little ones: Frank (age 2) and Nesheeni (3 months), and lives with her parents. The children’s father also lives in Ukwega. The family’s source of income is farming.
In a brief interview with RCP Caregiver Regina Mhagama, Alida shared more about why she decided to join the program:
Alida, what have you heard about the RCP Program?
I heard the RCP Program supports pregnant women and children and helps to reduce malnutrition. Three women who are in the program, Oresta, Delila, and Janet, told me the services provided were very good. I also have a relative enrolled in the program and I saw that she was helped when she was ill and taken to Iringa in Global Volunteers’ vehicle for medicine. Also, there is a health clinic which helps moms deliver their babies and provides excellent care to them. I delivered Nesheeni in Iringa. I didn’t know that there was a good place for moms to deliver their babies right here in Ipalamwa. I heard fellow moms talking about the hand-washing stations and they also mentioned that their children are gaining weight very quickly due to the fortified meals.
At first, I faced some challenges from my parents about joining the program. They didn’t really understand what it was about and discouraged me. When the RCP caregivers visited and created awareness with my parents about what the program is about, they allowed me to be part of RCP.
What do you hope to gain by participating in the RCP program?
I’d like to learn more through workshops, which I heard are so good. For example, my neighbor told me there was a workshop about oral health care and the proper way to brush teeth, and that there are others on nutrition and how to cook Rise Against Hunger meals. I hope to have more knowledge about those topics and that my children will stay healthy and happy.
About RCP’s Focus on Stunting:
Stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psycho-social stimulation. Children are defined as stunted if their height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the World Health Organization’s Child Growth Standards median. Global Volunteers’ RCP Program is a child-focused, parent-driven, family-centered, and community-led comprehensive effort beginning with pregnancy and continuing through the 18th birthday, focusing on the first 1,000 days of life. Ending stunting is the goal of the RCP Program in the Ukwega Ward in central Tanzania. Learn more here.
You can help Alida and nearly 600 other RCP mothers learn how to enable their children to reach their full potential. Support Global Volunteers’ RCP Program with a monthly or one-time gift now, and join a future service program to bring important resources to families in the Ukwega Ward.