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Child Development Activities A Great Asset to the Feed A Child Program.

Founded in 2012, Feed a Child Botswana aims to address the basic nutritional needs of the communities of Maun, specifically focused on the elderly and orphaned and vulnerable children. Through their integrated, sustainable, and people-driven approach, the goal is to empower individuals and families through proper nutrition. The organization runs a daily feeding program in three regions of Maun (Boseja, Boyei, and Riverside) and distributes Nutrimeal, a fully fortified porridge that is cost-effective, easy to prepare, and nutritionally dense. Currently, the organization feeds over 300 children and 40 elderly on a daily basis, which has resulted in a significant reduction of child malnutrition in the Kgotlas that Feed a Child serves.

In addition to the provision of a meal, Feed a Child works to incorporate healthy childhood development strategies into their allotted time with the children. The organization’s assistant coordinator, Becca Mattern, spoke on the importance of incorporating education and play into the lives of preschoolers. As a nursery school teacher, she plans various activities with the kids in each Kgotla in order to improve their mental, social, emotional, language, and motor development skills. “If their gross motor skills are a bit shaky,” she elaborates, “then we’ll incorporate more running, jumping, standing on one leg, those types of movements – all in a playful manner of course, so that they’re having fun.” Additionally, activities such as reading, counting, or learning colors are emphasized in both English and Setswana in order to prepare the older children for their transition into the school system.

Moving forward, Feed a Child plans to develop auxiliary programs working with parents and guardians in order to provide education on nutrition, family planning and caregiving. These could include a wide range of more specific topics, from saving/spending tips to the rights and responsibilities of parents. “We see a lot of young mothers, so we’re hoping to begin providing skill training and discussion groups,” described Mattern. “In a group setting, they can share the challenges that they’re facing at home with counsellors and other mothers.” As it could prove difficult for parents to find childcare during the day, Feed a Child hopes to structure these sessions to overlap with the activities already planned for the children.

We at Travel for Impact encourage individuals and companies to support Feed a Child in their work to nourish those who are vulnerable in Maun. To learn more about Feed a Child Botswana and contribute to their fundraising efforts, contact: email at feedachildbotswana@gmail.com OR by phone at +26773717735.

Article by Madeline Messenger

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