Measuring Vulnerable Kids in the Fight Against Malnutrition

By: Eve PohlPosted On: April 30th, 2018

A child's capacity to learn is significantly altered by malnutrition and therefore HFK's Berta Breakfast program not only matters today, but also impacts the future of every child we feed.

Working with public schools to target their most vulnerable students whose lack of nutrition has a direct effect on their ability to learn, is an important and exciting step we are taking by expanding Berta Breakfast  to 100 children at Abune Basilios Government School near the trash dump in Addis Ababa.  

In February, when we met these children for the first time, it was evident that they live in dire conditions.   Many arrived to our intake assessment with uniforms that were tattered and in shreds. Some holes were larger or equal to the remaining worn-out cloth which was threadbare, stitched, pinned and barely held together.  The children's skin tone, hair and slight frames were evidence of how very undernourished they are. Our HFK nurses and staff were on hand measuring each child against the World Health Organization (WHO) standards so that we can have a baseline to track their growth and to help identify those who may be severely malnourished and require further intervention.

Based on 2016 USAID data, it states that an incredibly high percentage (44%) of children  less than 5yrs old are clinically "stunted", a standardized measure established by the WHO representing chronic malnutrition.  Of these children, 29%  are acutely "undernourished".  This data would definitely be consistent with and perhaps even under-represent the data we collect within Hope for Korah on the children within our program.

You can imagine, that if these children were poorly nourished before reaching school-age, they likely remain so now.  It will be a battle worth fighting to stand against their lack of nutrition, pangs of hunger and struggles to concentrate and learn in school.  Their future and their life depends on it.

In just a few days the Basilios School Berta Breakfast location will launch! We will then have a total of 375 children in both Berta programs. 

If you would like to do something that matters please join us to help fight malnutrition and feed hungry kids.

~ Eve Pohl
HFK Executive Director/Founder
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