Mothers Fight Malnutrition With Education
By Elie Gardner
Partners in Health has been working in Lima, Peru, since 1994 to improve health in shantytowns.
In Peru, 1 in 5 children under the age of five suffer from chronic child malnutrition. To help combat this epidemic Partners in Health has created a community-based education project targeted at mothers and children from birth to age 3 in the district of Carabayllo. The goal of the program is to help children make a smoother transition from the home to school. Nutrition is at the heart of this.
A group of mothers—known as mother-educators—are trained in early childhood stimulation, leadership, and nutrition. The mothers then teach other mothers in their neighborhood by hosting interactive meetings in their homes and making house visits.
Raissa Vargas became a mother-educator in October 2012. Vargas says her mother wasn’t there for her when she was young. Now she is doing what she can to make sure her 1-year-old daughter and others in her neighborhood won’t suffer like she did.