Reaching Children’s Potential in Tanzania: Welcoming New Moms to the Program in May
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 eight new moms — many of whom are expecting — to the RCP “family” this month.
Epida Chalale was born and raised in Ukwega village, where she completed primary education. She has a six-year-old son, Elvin, and is currently expecting her second child, due in June. She works in agriculture for a living. Epida says she decided to join the RCP Program because she saw that her friends were enjoying being a part of the program and learning new things. “I heard the RCP Program is helping children and pregnant women. I heard RCP provided good quality services at the Ipalamwa General Clinic. Also, I heard that pregnant women are offered lodging at the guest house in Ipalamwa, where they can stay when they are waiting to deliver. I have been told by other people that the program helps children grow healthier by providing nutritious food and hand-washing stations, as well as workshops for parents. Other moms have told me their children have improved their health due to the RCP Program.” Epida expressed that her greatest health concern is morning sickness and feeling fatigued. She says she hopes to stay at the guest house in Ipalamwa to receive support and to have a safe delivery at the clinic.
Onjeni Mhadisa was born in Ipalamwa and raised in Ukwega village. She is engaged to be married next year. She is expecting her first child, due in June. She works in agriculture for a living, growing mostly maize and beans. Onjeni says before deciding to join the RCP Program, she had heard a lot about it from her friends and the RCP Caregivers: “I decided to join because I saw that other women and children are supported by the RCP Program and I wanted to be a part of it. The most interesting part is when RCP Caregivers conduct home visits. They spend time sharing knowledge, skills, and other information about malnutrition and parenting.” Like Epida, Onjeni also hopes to have a safe delivery at the Ipalamwa General Clinic. “I hope to have a happy baby,” she says smiling.
Salome Kikuru was born in the Njombe region of Tanzania. She now lives in Makungu with her aunt as both of her parents have passed away. Salome studied through Standard 7, which she completed in 2017. She is expecting her first child in August. Salome learned about the program from her sister. She said that she decided to join the RCP Program because she has heard that it is very helpful, especially when someone is ill as they can receive services free of charge at the Ipalamwa General Clinic. She hopes to be able to receive meals and learn more about nutrition in the program.
Perina is expecting her sixth child this week and decided to join the RCP Program because of the healthcare services offered.
Flora Mbeyunge was born in Isago and raised in Kiwalamo, where she lived with her grandmother. Flora is 25 years old and has lived in Ipalamwa since 2010. She has three children: Praygod (age 5), Bahati (age 3), and Amos (age 2). She works in agriculture for a living. Flora says she decided to join the RCP Program because of the services offered at the Ipalamwa General Clinic and hopes to access those services. She shared that she also hopes to learn different things about health and other topics, and hopes to have a happy family. Her children often suffer from the flu and sometimes diarrhea and Flora wants to learn more about hygiene and handwashing.
Perina Kaburi was born in Ilula, but moved to Ipalamwa after she was married in 1999. Her husband is now deceased. Perina has five children: Adela (age 20), Zakaria (age 18), Jamila (age 15), Agrippina (age 9), and Anitha (age 6), and is expecting her sixth, who is due this week. She sells local alcohol and works in agriculture for a living. Perina says she decided to join the RCP Program due to the services offered at the Ipalamwa General Clinic, and that she has heard that the program provides many good services to women and children. She says she hopes to access the services at the clinic. Perina explained that ancestors taught her to play drums and how to greet elders.
Martha Makaye was born in Ipalamwa, but was raised in Pommern, where she studied. She later moved to Iringa to work in domestic activities. She worked there for six years, and then moved back to Ipalamwa, where she lives with her husband. Martha has two children: Gladness (age 7) and Grace (age 3), and is expecting her third child, who is due at the beginning of July. Martha works in agriculture for a living. She decided to join the RCP Program due to the services offered at the Ipalamwa General Clinic and the benefits that families receive from accessing those services. She shares that her biggest health concern is that she sometimes has back pain. She says she has heard that the program helps women and children. Martha explained that her ancestors taught her to kneel when greeting elders.
Anna Mkembela was born in Ipalamwa, where she completed primary school. She’s married and lives with her husband and their two children: Gloria (age 5) and Alvin (age 6 months). They are expecting their third child, who is due on October 21. Anna works in agriculture for a living. She says, “I decided to join the RCP Program because I’m so impressed with how people have learned different things. I saw that my relatives are living happy with their children and have learned more about child growth. I have two children and am pregnant with my third, and I want to learn more in the RCP Program and raise my baby well. I have heard that the RCP Program focuses on children and moms. I also heard they conduct home visits and people in the program receive support for their children. I visited the Ipalamwa General Clinic for prenatal care, and was surprised by the great care provided. I had blood tests, an ultrasound, and other tests done. I hope to learn more, to have a healthy child, and to increase my knowledge about parenting.” Anna says her biggest health concern is feeling fatigued and having a loss of appetite.
Christina Mwinyi was born in Image village in 1991, where she completed her secondary education. She was married in Lulindi village ten years ago, but is no longer married. She is a single mother to four children: Flora (age 10), Monica (age 8), Flans (age 5), and Gervas (age 1). She works in agriculture for a living. Christina says, “I have heard that the RCP program helps families with knowledge on how to raise children to be healthy, and also provides food support. I am impressed by what the RCP Program does for mothers and their children, including providing health services, food support, and knowledge about raising our children.” She hopes her children will grow up to be healthy, happy, and able to reach their potential. Christina says she has been taught by her ancestors to respect them and Almighty God.
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 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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