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Meet Aneth, a hardworking 24-year-old mother of two and seamstress from Lulindi, Tanzania. Lulindi is a small, extremely remote village that sits at the end of a road on a  mountaintop. Insufficient access to nutritious food has caused serious health and cognitive issues for children and adults in Aneth’s community. Malnutrition has been prevalent throughout the entire region for decades, and border closings due to COVID-19 made access to basic needs even less accessible for community members. Aneth explained how the virus negatively impacted income as well — it was difficult for her to find sewing jobs because people couldn’t afford to buy clothes from her, and her parents weren’t able to transport and sell produce in and around Tanzania because of the closed borders.

Rise Against Hunger works with partner Global Volunteers to address food insecurity and serve those in the community through Global Volunteers’ Reaching Children’s Potential (RCP) program. According to Global Volunteers, “The primary goal of the RCP program is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to reach their potential. The principal objectives are to eliminate hunger and malnutrition by ensuring sufficient food and nutrition, improve health through controlling infectious disease, education and patient care, and to enhance learning by promoting boys’ and girls’ education and providing psychosocial support.“

Throughout the pandemic, Rise Against Hunger supported the RCP program by providing cash grants to Global Volunteers for local and regional food procurement. “The funds provided the opportunity for Global Volunteers to procure enough porridge from Dar es Salaam. We ordered 161,181 meals worth of fortified porridge to provide to the RCP families,” Husna, the RCP Program Technology Manager, shared.

Aneth participates in the RCP program where she and other mothers receive the porridge and micronutrients for their families. They are taught how to cook the meals and how to best feed their babies and themselves. Aneth expressed how she has noticed improvements within her community since receiving nutritious meals. She said, “Pregnant moms claim to have more energy before and after delivery, and many think this is because of the porridge and micronutrients they are getting.” When she was pregnant with her second child, Aneth noticed positive changes of her own from the nutritious meals she received. She had more energy to care for herself and her firstborn; she no longer felt hungry and delivered a healthy baby.

Husna also noticed the changes that Aneth witnessed. In the village, the moms have more energy and the children are gaining weight to reduce stunting. “Without the food, many children would not be in school, moms would have a hard time with pregnancy and the children would be hungry,” Husna said.

In addition to the nutritious meals, Aneth also attends workshops through the RCP program, receives health treatment at the local clinic and has joined the women’s co-op to use her skills as a seamstress to produce clothing, bags and crafts for sale. She now educates other moms in her community and invites them to join the RCP program, too.

Semida, Aneth’s neighbor and fellow member in the RCP program, thinks that Aneth will be successful because she’s hardworking and enjoys learning. “She is humble and loves to try new things… She will be able to acquire many things in life that will help her and her family.”

Malnutrition ends and opportunities arise with a meal for remote communities around the world, like Lulindi, and for mothers like Aneth. Join our It Starts With A Meal movement to nourish and empower communities as they journey out of hunger and fight for a brighter, healthier future!