Nutritional Support for Severe Malnutrition: Battling Kwashiorkor
A near-famine crisis level of hunger-severe malnutrition exists in East Congo.
According to the UN's World Food Program, decades of armed conflict are causing the crisis. Crops are burned, livestock stolen, homes are burned displacing many persons. New Hope Congo has the vision that God's shalom of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation will bring future peace. However, our reconciliation efforts by our in-Congo team are impacted until hunger and severe malnutrition are mitigated. Physical and spiritual needs are being addressed simultaneously.
Kwashiorkor is killing and harming children less than 5 years of age.
Kwashiorkor is protein and calorie malnutrition that affects young children from birth to age 5 years. These children either die from infection or survive and live life with a permanent stunting of cognition, as well as physical and social development.
Good news for the Children! The NHRC Congo team began in early July 2021 distributing soy, sorghum, and corn meal in a five-village pilot project. Two village-paid cooks prepare a protein-calorie rich porridge called SOSOMA for 503 young children suffering with Kwashiorkor. This food is distributed at a village nutrition center with a nurse and nutritionist. Prayer and teaching (nutritional, spiritual) are also shared with parents.
Good news for the Families! Beans were planted and harvested in early 2021. This is a new crop to bring protein into a corn-based diet for older children and adults. A highlight of this nutritional advance is that the farmers were from all four tribes, worked cooperatively, and remarked on the success of cooperative work, noting that their history of generational hatred and distrust was unclear.
Good news for Pregnant and Nursing Women! Recent funding will bring SOSOMA porridge (rich in protein and calories) to 500 pregnant and/or nursing women. The most severe Kwashiorkor begins before birth. Nursing depletes the mother's nutritional stores to nourish the infant.
Good news for 400 households! This includes widows, orphans, the elderly, and adults and will supplement nearly 3,000 persons. Rice and corn meal are locally purchased to ensure the local economy is supported. Prayer and spiritual teaching will precede the food distribution.
Please join our prayers that donations will sustain these programs and be able to extend them to 14 other villages and 2,000 more children with Kwashiorkor. We pray, then, that God extend his healing and peace to all in East Congo.