The Berta Breakfast Crisis Intervention Program serves a nutritional product made specifically for malnourished children, five days a week and for many it is their largest meal of the day. Many families in Korah only eat seven times per week and the quality of food is extremely poor. Most boys and girls living in Korah are underweight and their families malnourished. It is common for these children to have poor participation (some actually fainting) in school because they have not eaten.
A child in enrolled in our Berta Program will not only receive nutritious and life-changing sustenance everyday before school, they will also receive bi-weekly vitamins, bi-annual deworming medication and annual azithromycin for the prevention of blindness. All children are measured against the World Health Organization (WHO) standards twice per year. These measurements are tracked by medical staff and those identified as severely malnourished are upgraded and put on a Plumpy Nut* regime through the Hope for Korah First Aid Clinic.
Berta is served as a porridge, but in Ethiopia, traditional foods such as injera are eaten with ones’ hands, therefore we have found children much prefer eating a large pancake which they can dip into their sweetened tea. Berta Pancakes are also easy to transport and bring home to sick siblings or others who are not able to make it on a particular morning.
*Plumpy Nut is a prescribed, high protein based product used to fight severe malnutrition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Berta is distributed by the UN and other AID organizations throughout Africa. Hope for Korah launched the Berta Breakfast Program in May 2011 with 40 children and it has now grown to feed over 200 children from the Korah community. It is the first program of its kind in Korah and serves breakfast each morning before school to children ages 12 months - 18 years old. In addition, nursing mothers and other adults who are identified as malnourished or having critical health issues requiring additional nutrition are also added to the program.
Berta is a nutritious wheat based product, enriched with vitamins and minerals, made specifically for malnourished children. Ingredients include: cereals, legumes, soybeans, skimmed milk powder, sugar, salt, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, folic acid, iron, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc selenium and iodine.
HFK’s regular purchase of Berta supports the local, Ethiopian economy as it is manufactured by SABS Health Care Food Manufacturers PLC, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Berta changes lives!! After only a few short months on Berta the difference is often astounding. Children typically begin to gain weight, have a healthier skin tone and experience change in hair colour, texture and an overall increase in energy. Berta brings HOPE! Not only to the child, but to their parent as well. The visible relief and comfort it brings to a mother or father, knowing that their child is being fed is huge. So many parents, often mothers are widowed, abandoned and left surviving on their own, struggling to keep their family together and fed. Berta is a source of hope and life!
The breakfast program is a wonderful intervention that is badly needed. It really gives these children a future. Because education is the way out (of poverty) for most and you can't do that with an empty stomach. Keep it up!”
Just $12 per month will feed one child Berta for one month! As food prices continue to rise in Ethiopia, so does the cost of Berta. The Berta product itself makes up 50% of the overall Berta Breakfast Program costs. Additional direct costs associated with this program are sugar and tea, bread, firewood, kitchen supplies, feeding center, cooks and guards. 100% of each Berta donation goes towards these direct program costs.
Become a Berta Sponsor by making a monthly commitment to the Berta Breakfast Program or give a one-time donation and help bring immediate hope and change into the life of a child.
- Your gift matters to that one! Just $12 per month will feed one child Berta for one month!
- A gift of $60 will feed 5 children for one month.
- Feed 100 children Berta for $1200!
- A gift of $12,000 would support 200 children in the Berta Breakfast Program for 6 months.
We may not be able to change the world, but we can change one person’s world!”
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