Welcoming the New Year Through Last Year's Success

POST AND PHOTOS BY MAGGIE ANDRESEN // PUBLISHED JANUARY 2018

A Year in Review

2017 was a year of unprecedented growth at Gardens for Health International - growth marked through exciting new partnerships and changes that are making ripples throughout our organization. We’ve scaled our programs to fit within the frameworks of large aid institutions, to match national and local priorities, and to increased our local support base in Rwanda. Each day brings something new to our table; there’s never been a more exhilarating time to be involved with GHI. Read about our work in 2017 to see our exciting entry into a new phase of growth and expansion.

Health Center and Antenatal Care Programs

  Nyiramariza Lawrence laughs at a hygiene training at Musanze Health Center on January 23, 2018.

Nyiramariza Lawrence laughs at a hygiene training at Musanze Health Center on January 23, 2018.

We’ve seen continued success of our core Health Center Program in 2017. During Community Growth Campaigns, we worked with Community Health Workers to weigh and measure 18,706 children across 15 health centers in Musanze District, enrolling the most severe cases in our program. We saw 1,141 caregivers graduate from our program over the course of the past year, witnessing incredible health and knowledge gains along the way. Children meeting the minimum dietary diversity threshold at home increased to 58% from 36%, with 81% of children now consuming iron-rich and Vitamin A-rich vegetables.

We’ve also continued the success of our Antenatal Care Program, graduating over 2,000 pregnant women in both Musanze and Gasabo districts. New classes of women participating in our Health Center and ANC Programs have already begun trainings in health and agriculture this January, continuing the vital cornerstone of our community work. Looking to improve our data collection, we launched two-year follow-up surveys of Health Center Program graduates to learn about knowledge retention and the effects of our program over the long-term, and began follow-ups of children born from our ANC Program graduates to monitor birth weight.

  Gasabo District Field Educator Esperance Mukeshimana enrolls pregnant women into GHI's Antenatal Care Program on January 17, 2018.

Gasabo District Field Educator Esperance Mukeshimana enrolls pregnant women into GHI's Antenatal Care Program on January 17, 2018.

External Partnerships

In the past year, we partnered with a women’s cooperative in a textile factory to build a garden for factory workers that included nutrient-dense crops such as orange flesh sweet potatoes, avocado trees, passion fruit trees, pumpkin, and carrots. We also left a legacy of improved health through our trainings at the factory, which are replicated bi-weekly in life-skills courses intended to promote essential nutrition knowledge gains among workers.

We started working with the World Food Programme to create school gardens in 104 primary schools in the Southern and Western Provinces and trained influential community members in Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru districts on promoting nutrition in school settings and implementing school gardens with local agronomists.

We also partnered with the UNHCR and Save the Children to train 475 Burundian mothers living in Mahama Refugee Camp in agriculture and health, tailoring our program to the low-resource environment of refugee camps. In another partnership with the UNHCR and the U.S. Government, we’ve already started breaking ground for future programming in Kigeme Refugee Camp.

  Burundian women enrolled in GHI's health and agriculture trainings at Mahama Refugee Camp wave to the camera during a cooking demonstration on October 6, 2017.

Burundian women enrolled in GHI's health and agriculture trainings at Mahama Refugee Camp wave to the camera during a cooking demonstration on October 6, 2017.

Our work with the Rwandan Government expanded greatly last year, and continues to grow. In Musanze District, our approach is integrated deeply into the fabric of the health system. We are listed as a key partner in the District Plan to Eliminate Malnutrition, with our Health Center Program written into the action plan. Our team continues to think of new ways to approach old problems, employing innovative thinking that has contributed to our model being recognized by both the Rwandan Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI). We presented on nutrition-focused agriculture in the home garden setting at the National Nutrition Summit this February, and are in the process of drafting a MOU with MINAGRI that will support our continued policy work.

Farm Fresh

Our farm enjoyed its own success this past year. We hired new and talented staff across several teams, ran successful agriculture trials on new soil fertility methods using kale and onions as test crops, created a permagarden to identify more sustainable farming practices, increased farm production, began selling produce at local markets, and encouraged staff bonding through all-staff farm days and (early) Umuganda service.

  Iradukunda Florance, a member of GHI's Early Childhood Development program, helps water crops.

Iradukunda Florance, a member of GHI's Early Childhood Development program, helps water crops.

The advances we’ve enjoyed at GHI are the result of hard work and dedication to our mission of providing sustainable solutions to childhood malnutrition in Rwanda. As we charge into 2018, already in the midst of running our many programs, we’re looking forward to running even more progressive programming and external partnerships that will allow us to reach the most vulnerable families and sustainably alter the course of malnutrition in Rwanda.

Translation by Monica Mutoni

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Umwanditsi & Amafoto na Maggie Andresen

Gusubiza amaso inyuma ku byabaye uyu mwaka.

2017 wari umwaka witerambere rihambaye mu Murimma w’Ubuzima aho twagize abafatanyabikorwa benshi ndetse n’impinduka zirimo kuzana iterambere mu mushinga wose. Gahunda zacu twaziteguye mu buryo bukwiye kugirango dushobore kuba nk’imwe mu mishinga ikomeye ndetse tunashobore kugera kubyo abatugana bivuza kandi twongere umubare w’abantu dufasha mu Rwanda.  Buri munsi utuzanira ikintu gishya,  nta gihe na kimwe kuba mu Murima w’Ubuzima bidashimisha abantu. Soma inkuru zivuga ku mirimo twakoze muri 2017 urebe igihe cyagu gishimishije ubwo twinjiraga mu iterambere no kwaguka.

Gahunda y’ibigo nderabuzima n’iyo kwita kubagore batwite (ANC)

  Nyiramariza Lawrence aseka igihe yari yitabiriye amahugurwa ku isuku yabereye ku kigo nderabuzima cya Musanze muri Mutarama 23, 2018.

Nyiramariza Lawrence aseka igihe yari yitabiriye amahugurwa ku isuku yabereye ku kigo nderabuzima cya Musanze muri Mutarama 23, 2018.

Twageze kuri byinshi muri gahunda yacu y’ibanze y’ibigo nderabuzima mu mwaka wa 2017. Mu bikorwa byacu byo guteza imbere kominote, twakoranye n’abajyanama b’ubuzima aho bapimye ibiro n’uburebure bw’abana bagera ku 18,706 mu bigo nderabuzima 15 mu karere ka Musanze, tugashyira abana bameze nabi kurusha abandi muri gahunda yacu. Twabonye  ababyeyi bagera ku 1,141 basoje gufata inyigisho dutanga muri gahunda yacu muri uyu mwaka, tabonye ababyeyi bakura mu buzima no mu bumenyi. Umubare w’abana bashoboye kugera ku mirire igereranyije wazamutse ku kigereranyo cya 58% aho uyu mubare wiyongereye kuva kuri 36%, 81% by’ aba bana barya imboga zikungahaye ku myunyu ngugu ndetse no kuri vitamine A.  

Ikindi nuko gahunda yacu yo kwita ku babyeyi batwite ( Antenatal Care Program) yakomeje gukura cyane aho ababyeyi batwite barenga 2,000 basoje gufata inyigisho zabo mu turere twa Musanze na Gasabo. Abantu bashyashya bafatira amasomo/ amahugurwa ku buhinzi n’ubuzima  muri gahunda yacu y’ibigo nderabuzima ndetse na gahunda yo kwita kubagore batwite (ANC) yaratangiye muri uku kwambere, kugirango dukomeze gahunda yacu yo guteza imbere kominote. Kugirango twongere imibare dufata, twatangiye gukurikiranira hafi abana babyawe n’abagore baguriwe muri gahunda yacu ya ANC kugurango dupime ibiro bavukanye.

  Utanga amahugurwa muri Gasabo Esperance Mukeshimana ahitamo abazajya muri gahunda y'umurima w'ubuzima yo kwita kubagore batwite (Antenatal Care Program) muri Mutarama, 17, 2018.

Utanga amahugurwa muri Gasabo Esperance Mukeshimana ahitamo abazajya muri gahunda y'umurima w'ubuzima yo kwita kubagore batwite (Antenatal Care Program) muri Mutarama, 17, 2018.

Imikoranire n’abo hanze.

Mu mwaka ushize, twatangiye gukorana na koperative y’abagore mu ruganda rukora ibikapu kugirango tubafashe gushiraho umurima urimo ibihingwa bifite intungamubiri nyinshi urugero nk’ibijumba bya orange , ibiti bya avoka, amatunda, amadegede, na karoti.  Twasize amateka y’ubuzima bwiza biciye mu mahugurwa twahaye abakozi b’urwo ruganda  akaba yarakorwaga buri cyumweru aho bigishwaga amasomo ajyanye n’ubuzima agamije kuzamura ubumenyi bukwiriye ku mirire mu bakoze. Twatangiye gukorana n’umuryango mpuzamahanga ushinzwe imirire kugirango dushyireho imirima mu bigo by’amashuli abanza bigera ku 104 biri mu ntara z’Amajyepfo n’Uburengera zuba kandi tunahugura abaturage bo mu turere twa Nyamagabe na Nyaruguru ku birebana no kuzamura imirire mu mashuli no gushyiraho imirima mu mashuli hifashishijwe abagironome bibanze. Ikindi nuko twakoranye na UNCHR n’umuryango wa Save the Children guhugura ababyeyi b’abarundi bagera kuri 475 bacumbitse mu nkambi ya Mahama ku bijyanye n’ubuhinzi n’ubudozi muri gahunda yacu yo kurengera ibikikije inkambi z’impunzi. Ku bundi bufatanye na UNHCR na leta ya America twatangiye gushakisha uburyo twatangiza ibikorwa byacu mu nkambi ya Kigeme.

  Abagore b'abarundi bashyizwe muri gahunda y'umurima w'ubuzima yita ku bagore batwite (Antenatal Care Program) mu kwa cumi 6, 2017.

Abagore b'abarundi bashyizwe muri gahunda y'umurima w'ubuzima yita ku bagore batwite (Antenatal Care Program) mu kwa cumi 6, 2017.

Imirimo yacu na leta y’u Rwanda yariyongereye cyane mu mwaka ushize kandi ikomeje gukura ndetse no kurushaho. Mu karere ka Musanze, ibyo dukora byibanda cyane ku kuzamura ubuzima. Turi bamwe mu bafatanya bikorwa mu gahunda y’akarere yo kurandura imirire mibi, hamwe na gahunda yacu y’ibigo nderabuzima yanditse mu bikorwa biteganywa gukora. Itsinda ryacu rikomeje gutekereza ukuntu hacyemurwa ibibazo bimaze igihe, batekereza uburyo bwihariye bwatumye ibyo dukora byarashimwe na ministeri y’ubuzima (MOH) mu Rwanda ndetse na ministeri y’ubuhinzi n’ubworozi (MINAGRI).  Twashyize hanze ubuhinzi bwibanda ku kuzamura imirire hashyirwaho uturima tw’igikoni mu nama y’igihugu ivuga ku mirire mu kwa kabiri, ndetse bari mubikorwa byo MOU na MINAGRI bizafasha muri gahunda zacu zikomeje.

Umusaruro mu Murima wacu.

Twariye umusaruro wavuye mu murima wacu. Twangaje abakozi bashya kandi bafite impano mu matsinda atandukanye, twagerageje uburumbucye bw’ubutaka mu murima wacu hakotreshejwe ibihingwa nk’ibitunguru, na sukumawiki mu kureba niba ubutaka bwera, twanashyizeho umurima kugirango twige uburyo bwiza bwo guhinga, twongere umusaruro, twanatangiye no kugurisha umusaruro ku masoko, ndetse dushishikariza abakozi bose gufatanya tugakorera umurima wacu ku minsi w’umurima.

  Iradukunda Florence, umwe mu bari muri gahunda y'Umurima w'Ubuzima yita ku bana bato, yadufashije kuhira imyaka.

Iradukunda Florence, umwe mu bari muri gahunda y'Umurima w'Ubuzima yita ku bana bato, yadufashije kuhira imyaka.

Iterambere tumaze kugeraho mu murima w’ubuzima ni umusaruro w’akazi keza ndetse n’umuhate tugira kugirango tugere ku ntego yacu dushakisha ibisubizo birambye  byo kurwanya imirire mibi mu bana mu Rwanda. Turimo kwinjira mu 2018, nubwo tugeze kure dushyira mu bikorwa gahunda zacu nyinshi,  twizeye kongera ibikorwa byacu ndetse n’ubufatanyabikorwa bizadushoboza kugera ku miryango imeze nabi kurusha iyindi ndetse no kurandura imirire mibi mu Rwanda.

Byashyizwe mu Kinyarwanda na Monica Mutoni