South Sudan's mothers beat malnutrition with CSB++ and loads of resilience

“My husband’s family did not accept me when I was pregnant”, says Alice, a 17-year-old mother of one.

While helping her mother, 38-year old Ana, sell pancakes in the market, she fell in love with the father of her baby and got pregnant. Her husband’s family was against their marriage so she went to live with her mother.

 Alice stopped in primary three as her family was unable to pay the school fees. Just like her two brothers, Anthony, 15, and Oboma, 20, who also dropped out of their studies foe the same reason.

Nyankiir prepares to breastfeed her two-month-old son Deng as she waits for her turn to be served at nutrition site.


In 2016, her father was hit by a car while returning home from work and died. It ended her hope of finishing school and pursuing her dream.

Alice’s mother shared how her life changed and became difficult. “My husband’s accident was compensated by the car owner who hit him but my brother in- law took it and disappeared”, she says.

Ana has to raise her four children without support from her relatives. “Life is hard and I used to cry and think of my late father. There was no day we slept hungry when he was still alive”, Alice adds.

World Vision’s Community Nutrition Worker Juma John helps Nyankiir cook the porridge after receiving the CSB++.


Alice was malnourished and admitted at the Gurei nutrition center in Juba. She gave birth without complications but continued to receive support from the center.

“I take three kgs of corn soya blend plus (CSB++) every two weeks and it has kept my baby healthy. Since I started taking the porridge, my baby has not fallen sick and I have also gained weight.”

The food is energy dense and packed with essential nutrients such as proteins, minerals and vitamins that are good for pregnant and lactating women, very essential for their babies’ growth.

“I used to earn SSP 500 ($1) selling pancakes daily but I lost customers due to competition and lack of customers. To augment my income, I earn SSP1500 ($3) from selling metallic objects from used cars”, Ana says.

“Anthony and Oboma do casual work to save money for their school fees and also help buy food for the family sometimes”, she adds.

The packets of the Super Cereal Plus are given to pregnant and lactating mothers whose children are less than six months old and with a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of less than 23.0cm.


Another mother of four Nyankiir, 23, says, “My husband Akol was a driver but was shot in the arm and stomach. He survived but is now jobless and moved to Warrap State leaving us on our own.”

She lives with her husband’s brother and survives on the neighbours’ assistance. Last year in December, she lost one of her children. “I feel embarrassed that neighbors feed us but I have no option since other days we go without food”, Nyankiir shares.

She adds, “I lacked breast milk but the CSB++ helped me produce milk for my two-month-old baby Deng. I want to go back to my family in the village but I do not have money for transport.”

The porridge Nyankiir cooks for the family to survive hunger.


Komakech Mandela, the Juba Nutrition Project Manager explains,” The CSB++ is a supplementary food given to pregnant and lactating women identified and admitted with acute malnutrition. Children aged 6-59 months also benefit from the product.”

He adds, “The food is energy dense and packed with essential nutrients such as proteins, minerals and vitamins that are good for pregnant and lactating women, very essential for their babies’ growth.”

With funding support from World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF and WVUS Gift In Kind (GIK) Programme, the project was able to support 2,765 pregnant and lactating women suffering from acute malnutrition.

Juma John takes 4-year-old Zainab’s weight at the Gurei Nutrition Site to determine her malnutrition status.


Story and photos by Jemima Tumalu, Communications Officer