Iranzi Bless is a 2-year-old and half little girl, from Inandori village, sector of Tare in Nyamagabe district, western part of Rwanda. Her mother Claudette Byiyungure, has conceived her, out of legal marriage while she was working as a baby sitter in Kigali, capital of Rwanda; she explains. Her father recognizes Bless as his child but rejects her mother; Claudine explains in grief. Though the man says to accept Bless as his child, he has never shown to be interested in providing to her needs; little girl was rejected to; young mother finds. When Bless was one year-old, mother realised that she was not eating well; her cheeks and legs started swelling. Claudette, her mom, did not have means to take her to nearby health facility and child’s health status worsened as time passed. Fortunately, community health workers in her locality came across her case as they screened all children of their locality for malnutrition. 2-year and half old Bless Iranzi was found to have malnutrition; health workers tested her.
Lucky enough, there is in the nearby a milk collecting centre that was supported by World Vision to help fight against malnutrition in under five children. Bless was transferred to that centre for rehabilitation. ‘’I did not know my child was suffering from malnutrition. I thought it was normal lack of appetite’’ 28-year-old single mom says. ‘’Wonder if she would have been alive has not been this milk; she was already in bad situation by the time I reported here’’ young mother recounts.
In the effort to fight against malnutrition in children, World Vision initiated livestock rearing project by community members in Nyungwe Cluster of Nyamagabe District. 120 families were supported with cows. Livestock rearing aimed at providing milk to children from the most vulnerable families in the area. During the livestock distribution, World Vision has agreed with local administration and community member beneficiaries, to take in, the donated cows and put in place, a collecting centre that will receive milk. Part of the milk would be used in the rehabilitation of children found to be malnourished in the area, and the remaining to be used by the livestock owners; World Vision and community agreed.
‘’I could not believe my child would get milk for free’’ Claudette says joyfully.
For three months Bless is receiving a half of litre every day to drink immediately at the collecting centre, and another half is given to be taken home; mom explains thankfully. After three months, children benefiting the milk graduate, and community health workers supported by World Vision follow up with health status of the discharged children in their homes.
During health workers’ visits, parents with malnourished children are taught how to prepare a balanced diet to prevent their children from relapsing; Felix Rulindangabo, a World Vision staff in the area explains. Claudette hopes that her child will not relapse and hopes to get enough time to fend for her, now that she is healthy and not requiring much care as before; she says. Children from families of land small holders, orphans and rejected children are the most affected by malnutrition.
World Vision is working with local administration and community at large to help them produce enough on the small lands they have, or start income generating activities through cooperatives; Ananias Sentozi, World Vision Rwanda west regional Manager explains.