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 four new moms to the RCP “family” this month!
Edith Abel was born and raised in Karagwe, where she completed her primary education. She now lives in Ipalamwa village. She has two children: a son, Edson, who is five years old and in kindergarten, and a daughter, Anna, who is two years old. Edith is currently expecting her third child and was due in May. Edith earns a living by selling food items like tomatoes, onions, fried potatoes, and ripe bananas in her village. She has friends and neighbors who are enrolled in the RCP Program and she has heard that the program “provides education and ensures that members have good health and that their children are growing in a proper manner without facing any health issues.” Edith decided to join the program because “I have seen my fellow women benefitting from the program through getting education from the workshops and caregivers. They also have benefitted from receiving nutritious porridge and medical services from the Ipalamwa General Clinic (IGC). This is something which has motivated me to join the program because I’m part of the community which Global Volunteers serves.” Edith hopes that by joining the RCP Program, she will have a healthy family, saying, “I have two children, but I don’t have enough education on how to take care of an infant and to raise a healthy and happy family.” Edith says her elders have taught her to respect all people, old and young.
Tina Makwela was born and raised in Ukwega village, where she attended Ukwega Primary School. She is 33 years old. “I was raised in a peasant family depending on agriculture and animal husbandry,” Tina explains. She does agricultural work for people who own land in the community and she cultivates beans to sell. Tina has three children: son Godbless, who is 12 years old and in Standard Five; daughter Furahia who is nine years old and in Standard Three; and son Moses, who is five years old and in kindergarten. She is currently expecting her fourth child as she is five months pregnant. Tina has relatives and friends who are enrolled in the RCP Program and she has heard that it focuses on moms and children so as to eliminate stunting. She decided to join the program in order to benefit in the same ways other moms do, such as by receiving medical services and education through workshops. She hopes that by participating in the RCP Program, she will raise a healthy baby and adopt new skills through home visits and workshops. Tina says that one of her most important cultural customs is to perform a traditional dance at marriage ceremonies. She says that her elders have taught her to respect others, have faith, and show wisdom.
Alesta Kadinda was born and raised in Mkalanga village, where she attended primary and secondary school. She is a single mother. Her daughter, Shiness, is eight years old and in Standard Three. She is expecting her second child, due in June. Alesta also does agricultural activities for people who own land in her community. She cultivates beans and maize to sell. She has relatives and neighbors who are enrolled in the RCP Program. Alesta says that she has heard that the RCP Program helps mothers and children with their well-being, especially focusing on pregnancy through the second birthday of children. She decided to join the program because of the “good and free” services people get at the Ipalamwa General Clinic (IGC). “Also,” she continues, “the nutrition education will help me with my child’s growth and development in my womb. I hope to acquire new knowledge on how to raise a health family and care for infants through the workshops and from the caregiver, too.” Alesta says her elders have taught her that respect is the key which helps people live in society.
Shenida Changula was born and raised in Mkalanga village. She completed her primary education at Mkalanga Primary School in 2009. After she married her husband, Asheri, they moved to Makungu village. They have a daughter, Carren, who is four years old, and they are expecting their second child. Shenida is three months pregnant. Shenida also works in agriculture for a living, cultivating maize and beans for her family’s consumption and to sell. Shenida heard about the RCP Program from her neighbors in Mkalanga village and her relatives who are enrolled in the program. She says she has heard that the program supports mothers during pregnancy and aims to eliminate stunting in children through education on nutrition and hygiene. She decided to join the program because she needs to “get the education and benefits that are available to RCP families, such as free medical services and education on nutrition and hygiene.” She continues, “My hopes in participating in the RCP Program are to get education from various workshops and to have a safe delivery at the Ipalamwa General Clinic.” Shenida says that her elders taught her that pregnant women should not stand or sit in a doorframe.
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.