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Stories from the Field

Mother of Four Children Works to Nourish Her Community

By Kelsey Reid on July 13, 2022

Hariet, a 32-year-old mother of four children, lives in Karonga, Malawi — and she is helping her community in big ways! Last year, she became a care group promoter through the Harvesting Prosperity and Resilience project, which Rise Against Hunger implements in Malawi with partner FOCUS, to help mothers and children in her village learn best practices for nutrition and healthy eating. 

The Harvesting Prosperity and Resilience project, one of Rise Against Hunger’s Empowering Communities projects, addresses food insecurity in Hariet’s village by engaging both Malawian men and women in shared responsibilities in food production. Hariet started out by participating in the project’s nutrition and food production training.

Growing up in a rural community, Hariet and her family faced poverty and malnutrition and often couldn’t afford to eat three meals a day. Her past inspired her as she continued participating in the project, and she decided she wanted to become a care group promoter. She wanted to impact the lives of many people in her community and support women and parents.

To become a care group promoter, Hariet attended training organized by FOCUS and Rise Against Hunger. The training focused on scaling up nutrition; infant and young child feeding; water, sanitation and hygenie; maternal nutrition; food processing, production and utilization; macronutrients and micronutrients; growth monitoring; homestead farming; and more. 

Hariet now oversees 288 households, helping the care group members learn and excel in new farming techniques and nutrition knowledge. She has also taken what she has learned and planted her own backyard garden with many different types of vegetables, and this garden serves as an example to the care group members. “We don’t need to buy expensive foods to be nourished. We can grow vegetables behind our houses,” Hariet said. “I want to live in a healthy and vibrant community and this can only be achieved through promotion of nutrition education.”

In Hariet’s community, cases of stunting, wasting and malnutrition are now decreasing.  Hariet has noticed considerable change in the wellbeing of the children and parents, as well as her own family. She said, “I was not looking like this at first, I was very slim and unhealthy. But now I can proudly say that I am healthy and stout thanks to the six food groups that I am always taking.” 

The village continues to work together to build up their farming practices and nutrition education, and as a care group promoter, Hariet is helping to implement this change. A community’s long-term food security and resilience start with people like Hariet who are making a difference in their communities. And you can support this work by donating today!