Reaching Children’s Potential in Tanzania: Welcoming New Moms to the Program in November
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 12 new moms to the RCP “family” this month. Eleven of these new members are expecting!
Sifa Mpalanzi was born in May 1994 in Ukwega village. She studied at Ukwega Primary School. She sells soap for a living and sometimes cultivates crops for commercial activities. She is currently expecting her first child. Sifa has neighbors and friends who are in the RCP Program and has heard that it is a good program that provides nutrition education to families. “I joined the program because I have seen other moms benefiting from it. I also want to get the services they have received,” she says. Sifa hopes that by participating in the program and learning new things through workshops, she will be able to raise a healthy family. She says that an important value in her culture is to respect people regardless of their age, and to respect people’s wisdom and humanity.
Melina Chalale was born in 2002 and raised in Ukwega village where she obtained both primary and secondary education. Her main source of income is from cultivating crops and selling the surplus. She is expecting her first child now and says she decided to join the RCP Program so she can learn how to raise her child. She has friends, relatives, and neighbors in the program, which she has heard focuses on the growth of children and mothers by emphasizing nutritious food. She hopes to have a healthy family and learn how to take care of infants.
Fasnet Kasuga was born in Ukwega in September 1974. She studied through fourth grade and works in agriculture for a living. Fasnet has five children – three sons: Neusi (age 18), Jelly (age 14), Hamphrey (age 8), and two daughters: Anewa (age 5) and Sharon (age 4). She is currently carrying her sixth child. Fasnet says that her sisters-in-law, other relatives, and friends are in the program and she has heard that the program helps moms acquire knowledge on various issues through workshops and home visits with caregivers. “I have joined the program because I need to get knowledge and also, when I have medical concerns, they can easily be addressed,” Fasnet says. “My hope as a mother is that through the RCP Program, I can have a healthy family, especially the baby I am expecting.”
Naomi Nyamoga was born in March 1998 in Ukwega village, where she attended primary school. She has a daughter, Jenipha, who was born in December 2015, and she is expecting her second child. She does farming activities for a living, including selling crops and digging. Naomi has neighbors and relatives in the program and has heard that it has helped moms to have good practices that are new to them, such as pre-natal care, using medicines properly, and washing hands with soap. She says, “I joined the program because I need to learn about nutrition during and after pregnancy. I also need to give birth to a healthy child. I want to get education on how to raise a healthy and intelligent child.”
Grace Wihale was born and raised in Kising’a, where she completed her primary education in 2016. She then went on to secondary school in Lulanzi and finished in 2020. She now lives in Ipalamwa, with her parents, and is expecting her first child. Grace has neighbors and relatives in the RCP Program and has heard that it helps pregnant women acquire knowledge and provides children under two years of age with nutritious porridge. “I also heard that RCP provides education on how to feed babies and children a well-balanced diet through workshops and home visits with caregivers. I have also heard that families can receive medical services free of charge at the Ipalamwa General Clinic.” Grace says she joined the program because she wants to acquire knowledge. “I need to learn about nutrition during and after pregnancy and I also need to know how to take care of newborns.” Grace says that an important value in her culture is that women must kneel when greeting people, regardless of their age.
Elizabeth Manyoroga was born in 1992 in Ukwega village, where she completed primary school in 2006. She completed her secondary school in 2010. She was married in 2012. She has two children – Richard (age 9) and Rida (age 4) – and is currently expecting her third, due in June. She relies on agricultural activities for a living. Elizabeth says that she has heard from her neighbors and friends in Ukwega that the RCP Program provides the community with education on how to help mothers and children grow healthy. She says, “I have joined the program because I need to obtain knowledge. I also want to access the services, such as the health services provided to the people who are in the program. My hopes are to have healthy and bright kids in the future.” Elizabeth says that one important belief in her culture is that women must stay at home for 40 days after giving birth so the baby can recover.
Sophiana Myumbo was born in May 1992 in Ukwega village, where she studied at primary school. She farms as a source of income. She has one son, Medrick, who is in Standard 5, and is expecting her second child. She has heard that the program provides free medical services at the Ipalamwa General Clinic. She decided to join the program because of the good services that it provides to families and the education they receive as members. She says she hopes to have a healthy family through the knowledge she will acquire in workshops. She says that the elders in her family have taught her to love and care for people in her community.
Agatha Ngaile was born in Mkalanga village in February 1992. She completed her primary school education there in 2007. She lives with her husband and their daughter, Johari, and are expecting their second child. She farms for a living. Agatha heard about the RCP Program from her friends in Ipalamwa, and that the program focuses on women and children. She says she decided to join the program because she loves the RCP Program and the good services families receive. “I hope that by being in the program, both my baby and I will have good health,” she says. “By participating in RCP, my hope is to learn new things that will help me to take care of my child after delivery.” Agatha says that an important value in her culture is to respect elders and kneel to them as a sign of respect.
Farida Mlengela was born in Ipalamwa in November 2002. She studied at Fikano Primary School and later went to Iringa in search of work. She found a job as a domestic worker there. She now works in agriculture to earn a living and lives in Lulindi village. Farida is not married, but says she wishes to be married to the father of her newborn daughter. Her daughter, Lilines, was born on December 3, a week after Farida joined the RCP Program. Farida has friends and relatives who are in the RCP Program. “I have seen my relatives and friends who are in the RCP Program enjoying free services from the Ipalamwa General Clinic and receiving hand-washing stations along with education from workshops.” She says she decided to join the program so that she could have a safe delivery at the Ipalamwa General Clinic. She says she hopes that by participating in the RCP Program, she can have a healthier baby and her daughter can reach her full potential. Farida says that an important value in her culture is to obey the norms and customs of society. She explained that her parents will not allow her to marry until her future husband pays a dowry.
Zera Duma was born in July 2003 in Lulindi village, where she attended Fikano Primary School. After completion, she went to Iringa to look for work in domestic activities. There, she became pregnant decided to return home so she could receive support. She is due in March. Her sister and other relatives are in the program. She says, “I heard that the RCP Program focuses on mothers and children by providing education on nutrition issues like eating a balanced diet. I joined the RCP Program because I really love the program and I wish to have a safe delivery at the Ipalamwa General Clinic.” She hopes that by participating in the program, she will have a safe delivery and be able to raise a healthy family. Zera says that an important value in her culture is to respect elders and obey the community’s moral norms.
Anna Msungu was born on in Mkalanga village in March 2004. She completed her primary education there in 2018. She farms for a living. She is six months pregnant with her first child and is due in March. Anna heard about the RCP Program from her relatives and friends in her village who are members. She says she decided to join the program because of the services families receive. She hopes to raise a healthy family and that RCP will help her to do that. She says that the most important value in her culture is to respect the culture and norms of her tribe.
Mariam Ngusi was born in May 2004 in Ukwega, where she completed primary school in 2018. She lives with her mother, father, and siblings. She is pregnant with her first child and is due in February. She works in agriculture for a living. Mariam has relatives and neighbors in the RCP Program and has heard that the workshops conducted at the RCP Center are very useful to mothers in raising their children. “I have joined the RCP Program so that I can get knowledge about healthy pregnancy and how to take care of the baby that will be coming.” She says she hopes that by participating in RCP she will have a healthy family.
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.
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