Stories of Change: Childcare centers as a platform for improving child nutrition in Malawi
Rhoda is part of a parent group in southern Malawi that manages the local community-based childcare center (CBCC). Her daughter Lela attends the preschool center where she participates in early childhood education activities and receives a daily meal that supports her nutrition at this key stage of her development. While CBCCs have been active in the Zomba district of Malawi since 2008, agriculture and nutrition training sessions were introduced in 2015 and 2016, respectively, by the Government of Malawi, Save the Children, and the University of Malawi. In December 2015, Rhoda and the other parents received training to improve farming practices and began planting soon after the training, which helped them to provide a more consistent supply of healthy foods to the center for children’s meals on a voluntary basis. In February 2016, parents also attended classes on childcare and nutrition, where they learned about nutritious foods and how to prepare healthy recipes for their children. Thanks to these services, Lela ate healthier meals at preschool and at home, which improved her diet along with the nutritional status of her younger siblings.
This blog post is part of a special, monthly series entitled “Stories of Change,” documenting the impact of IFPRI’s projects and initiatives. These stories reflect the wide breadth of the Institute’s research, communications, and capacity-strengthening activities around the world, in fulfillment of its mission. The blog series has been peer-reviewed by IFPRI’s Impact Committee members.