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, Mkalanga, 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 seven new moms, six of whom are expecting, to the RCP “family” this month!
Tumpeni Damas Mfugwa was born in 2003 in Makungu village. She completed her primary education at Makungu Primary School in 2016 and passed the national exam, which permitted her to continue on to secondary school. She completed her education at Ukwega Secondary School in 2020. She says, “After that, I was selected to join the advanced level at Iringa Girls Secondary School, but unfortunately, I failed because I was already pregnant.” Tumpeni is eight months pregnant and due at the end of April. She lives with her parents. She decided to join the RCP Program because she wants to attend workshops to learn how to take care of infants. She also hopes to have a safe delivery at the Ipalamwa General Clinic. She has neighbors and friends who are enrolled in the program and she has heard that the program helps mothers and children so that they can learn about nutrition and reduce stunting. Tumpeni says she likes learning and hopes to learn a lot at the workshops. She says that something that is commonly believed in her culture is that pregnant women should not stand or sit in doorways.
Shangilia Mwilafi was born and raised in Makungu village and completed her primary education at Makungu Primary School. She is 27 years old and lives with her parents and siblings. She has a daughter, Doreen, who is eight years old and in Standard Two. She is expecting her second child and is due in May. Shangilia works in agriculture for a living. Her sister and neighbors are in the RCP Program and she has heard that it supports mothers and children with nutrition education and medical services. She decided to join to be able to benefit from those services. She hopes to participate in workshops at the RCP Center, receive fortified porridge, and have a safe delivery of a healthy baby at the Ipalamwa General Clinic. She says that her elders have taught her to respect people regardless of their age or sex.
Zuena Kipingi was born in Isele village and studied her primary education there. When she got married, she moved to Ukwega village. Zuena is 26 years old. She and her husband live with their two sons and daughter. Humphrey is six years old and in Standard One, Benson is three years old and in kindergarten, and Winifrida is three months old. Zuena works in agriculture for a living. She has relatives and neighbors who are in the RCP Program and says she decided to join because she wants to learn more about raising children. She says, “Although I have children, I have raised them how we do locally without any nutrition or hygiene education. Also, I want to benefit from getting good medical services at Ipalamwa General Clinic.” Zuena also says she has heard that through workshops, RCP moms learn about hygiene, caring for infants, exclusive breastfeeding, and many other topics. Through participation in the program, she hopes to have a healthy and happy family. She says that one of her most important cultural values is to respect people regardless of their age.
Angela Mbilinyi was born and raised in Makungu village where she studied primary school, which she completed in 2008. She is 26 years old and married to Tumpende Masika. They have a son, Justine, who is five years old and they are expecting their second child, due in May. She works in agriculture for a living. Her sister-in-law and neighbors are enrolled in the program and she has heard that it provides many benefits to RCP families and works to eliminate stunting. She hopes to have a safe delivery at Ipalamwa General Clinic and a healthy baby. She says that a common belief in her culture is that women should not sit on buckets while they are pregnant.
Tumaini Nyenza was born and raised in Kidabaga village. She met her husband in 2008 and then moved to Makungu village. She is 43 years old and is expecting her fourth child. She is due in June. She has three daughters: Faidha (age 17), Zaineth (age 13), and Anna (age 9). She works in agriculture for a living. She attends a Lutheran church in Makungu and has heard from church members enrolled in the program that RCP helps moms by providing nutrition education. She hopes that by participating in the RCP Program she will be able to get good medical services at the Ipalamwa General Clinic and receive fortified porridge. She says that her elders have taught her to always be polite to people.
Eliza Kadimda was born and raised in Dabaga village and completed her primary education there in 2011. She is 24 years old and married, and now lives in Mkalanga. She is pregnant with her first child and is due in April. She works in agriculture for a living. She has relatives, neighbors, and sisters-in-law enrolled in the RCP Program and has heard that it helps children and women, especially pregnant women in getting pre- and post-natal care at the Ipalamwa General Clinic. Eliza decided to join the program because she hopes to benefit from the services, including the free medical services and nutrition education. She hopes to gain knowledge on how to raise a healthy family through the workshops and attention at the Ipalamwa General Clinic. Eliza says that her elders taught her that women should bow when greeting others as a sign of respect.
Jerida Kikoti was born and raised in Morogoro Region. She completed her primary education in 2019. She married a man from Mkalanga village and lives there now with him. They are currently expecting their first child, due in July. She works in agriculture for a living. Her mother-in-law, other relatives, and friends from Mkalanga are enrolled in the program and she has heard that it focuses on children aged zero to 18. She decided to join the program because she wants “to get education on how to raise a healthy family because I haven’t had any education on that.” She hopes that as a new mother, she will be able to learn new things in workshops and raise a healthy and happy family. She says that her elders have taught her that “respect is the only thing which makes people be connected in each and everything and community work is a way of showing respect.”
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 these and over 750 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.