In 2014, we launched a new initiative designed to share our model and methodology with NGO partners who are interested in using nutrition-focused agriculture and/or community based education models to reduce malnutrition.
With the support of the Segal Family Foundation, to date we have worked with 19 NGO partners from 6 countries in the region.
These organizations have each attended a weeklong workshop on our farm and have come away with targeted recommendations on ways to adapt our model for the populations they serve. In the coming year, we look forward to offering workshops focused specifically on:
• Teaching nutrition to vulnerable populations
• Nutrition-focused home garden design
• Low Input Agriculture Practices
We believe that integration into exiting systems creates effective, sustained change. That is why our core program works in direct partnership with government health centers and why as an organization we partner with the Government of Rwanda to meet our shared goal of reducing childhood malnutrition.
In Musanze District, where the majority of our program is focused, our work is fully integrated into the district-level efforts to reduce malnutrition. Within the District Plan to Eliminate Malnutrition (DPEM) we are listed as a key nutrition partner with our Health Center Program written directly into the action plan.
At the national level, we also work closely with both the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI.) We are registered as an INGO under MOH and sit on the Nutrition Technical Working Group. We are also in the process of drafting an MOU with MINAGRI and currently sit on the Technical Working Groups on Soil Science and Agriculture Extension.
In 2014 we contributed to the National Food and Nutrition Policy (NFNP) which will guide nutrition-related interventions and is a joint effort between the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI). Among the key interventions listed in the NFNP is the “promotion of improved kitchen garden and small livestock to improve micronutrients, increase protein availability and provide a pathway to increased income for vulnerable families.” In February, we presented on nutrition-focused home garden design at the National Nutrition Summit.