Antonia Cunassa, 42, a mother of six lives with her unemployed husband in “Bloco L” resettlement camp, along with other families whose homes were destroyed when cyclone Idai hit Mozambican province of Sofala.
She and her children are some 11,120 individuals who are benefiting from training on proper Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF). For three months, she faithfully attended the program, facilitated by World Vision staff.
“I learned a lot," she says. "I learned that fruits are very important for my children's health. I´m also learning how to feed my children. Formerly, I used to give cold food. [But], thanks to the training provided by World Vision, now I know that I must warm up what I have to give the children.”
Antonia claims that she is doing everything she can to help her children to grow up healthy, despite the difficulties she has in finding adequate food. “Whenever possible, I use oil, coconuts and maize meal to feed my children. Sometimes, I prepare shrimp so my children can grow well,” she says.
Left homeless by cyclone Idai
Shortly after the cyclone arrived, the roof of their house collapsed. Antonio and her six children hid in the kitchen but that refuge was short-lived. “A couple of minutes later, the kitchen was torn from its foundation by the storm and we [were left] homeless,” she recalls.
After the cyclone passed, Antonia spent five days hanging from a tree with her children (tied with “capulana” (garment worn as a sarong around the waist) without food and water until the rescue arrived. By that point, two of her children had lost consciousness.
“The cyclone brought me a lot of suffering," she says. "My house could not resist. It was a real nightmare. The floods took all our clothes, blankets and everything we had,” she said.
Antonia´s main request is to have more blankets to protect her children from cold and more food because what they receive is not enough to feed her family for 30 days.
Alongside Food Distributions and Water facilities, World Vision screened more than 18.500 under five years old for malnutrition.
Helping Antonia and other parents know how they can properly feed their children, even in their current desperate conditions, is to ensure vulnerable children receive the support they need to survive and thrive.