Reaching Children’s Potential in Tanzania: Welcome to Okolewa Wihale
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 Okolewa Wihale to the RCP “family” this month.
Okolewa Wihale is a mother of three from Ukwega village. Josephat is ten years old, Japhet is seven years old, and Agresha is 5 years old. She is married and she and her husband are expecting their fourth child in May 2021. Okolewa and her husband farm for a living, selling the extra crops.
In a brief interview with RCP Caregiver Regina Mhagama, Olesta shared more about why she decided to join the program:
Okolewa, why did you join the RCP Program?
I joined the program because I was impressed with the excellent level of care at the Ipalamwa General Clinic, including the prenatal care. The first time I went there – that was the first time in my life I ever received care like that. I was surprised by the ultrasound and all of the other care I got.
What have you heard about the RCP Program?
I have heard quite a bit about the RCP Program from my friends Veronica and Tobiana and from the RCP Caregivers who I see here in Ukwega. I’ve heard that RCP focuses on the health of moms and children. Also, I saw that my friend who stayed at the Ipalamwa guest house and delivered at the Ipalamwa General Clinic was so happy and appreciate of all the services provided to her.
Do you have any health concerns? What are your hopes in participating in the RCP Program?
My greatest health concern is back pain and vomiting now while I am pregnant. I hope to have a healthy baby, learn a lot from RCP, and have other technologies like the other RCP moms do.
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 Okolewa 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.
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