Esther is a single mother to three small children, living in one of the most urbanely dense compounds in Lusaka. Having not finished school, her employment prospects are limited. She came to our attention when her youngest child, 3 year old Samson, was brought into the clinic suffering with various health issues, he was incredibly underweight for his age. Without a job or a source of income Esther was struggling to feed her children this is her story:
"I don't have a partner so I am responsible for raising my children on my own. We live in a small house and as I don't have a job it can be a real struggle to pay the rent and also buy food for my children. I do small jobs for people to make money here and there but it isn't consistent.
I have been coming to Tiny Tim & Friends for a while now with Samson. Because of the lack of food it has often been difficult to get Samson to take his medication as it makes him feel sick. He is little so doesn't understand why he needs to take his medication and can often become very emotional when he has to take it. Because of the lack of food he was beginning to lose a lot of weight. I felt bad but I didnt know what to do.
One day when I came to Tiny Tim & Friends, Samson was weighed and measured and because he was underweight they told me they wanted to put him on a nutrition programme. That we would get weekly food packages and education about what he should be eating to stay healthy. Each week I came to the Clinic to pick up our food supplies, to check on Samson's progress and to get lessons from Noah on the best way to prepare food to keep the goodness in the ingredients.
I want to thank Tiny Tim & Friends and the people who made this possible. Samson is now very chubby and even my neighbours say he looks so much more healthy and energetic, which is something I didn't think I would see. "
Last week we successfully graduated 8 children out of our nutrition programme after just 3 months. All 8 of these children had gained such a great amount of weight and grown in height that they are now well within the healthy weight range on the BMI index.
Through our nutrition programme, not only have we been able to support these vulnerable children to gain weight and become healthy, but we have also provided their families and caregivers with nutritional support and education needed to ensure that can help their children to have a well balanced diet. The weekly food packages have also allowed families to make small savings in their weekly outgoings to support several of them in investing into their small businesses or paying for school fees.
Thanks to the support of 34 donors who funded our CARINGCROWD CrowdFunding programe at the end of last year. Please stay posted for individual stories on each of these children.
For more information about our nutrition programme and how you can get involved in us helping even more malnourished, vulnerable children to get healthy and get the education they need check out our programme page: Nutrition programme.