Phase 1: Proof of Concept
In 2010, in response to Rwanda's high rate of chronic childhood malnutrition and the significant political will to tackle this pervasive public health challenge, we launched what is now our core effort: our Health Center Program. This program began as a pilot project with a dozen families at two health centers in Gasabo District. Over the next couple of years we continued to refine our model with community feedback and research on the many intersectional factors that contribute to malnutrition.
Phase 2: Expansion
We quickly saw the potential for our work to have impact at scale. By 2014 we expanded to 18 health centers, reaching over 2,000 families annually in Gasabo and Musanze Districts. Our work was fully integrated into the District Plan to Eliminate Malnutrition in Musanze District and we were written into action plans as a key nutrition partner. At the national level we formed relationships with the Ministries of Health and Agriculture (MOH and MINAGRI) and began contributing to key policy initiatives such as the National Food and Nutrition Policy (NFNP) and National Kitchen Garden Guidelines. Our core behavior change methodology was adopted by the Ministry of Health and over 44,000 Community Health Workers were trained in our "One-Pot-One-Hour" model.
In 2016 we rolled out an additional program - our Antenatal Care (ANC) Program - which utilizes the Health Center as an entry point to provide comprehensive education related to nutrition and antenatal care to pregnant women. In our first year we reached over 2,000 women through this program.
By 2017 we were running two programs in 19 health centers reaching about 3,100 families per year.
Phase 3: Partnering for Scale
We recognize that in order to make meaningful progress in the fight against malnutrition, we need to partner with external organizations to scale our impact to new populations and new geographic locations.
In 2017 we formed a partnership with the World Food Programme to support their Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) initiative to bring nutrition-sensitive gardens to 104 primary schools in four new districts, expanding our reach to an additional 87,000 individuals. With Save the Children we worked with 475 families in Mahama refugee camp, bringing our model of nutrition-sensitive agriculture and comprehensive nutrition training to the refugee camp setting.
Our goal in this stage is to thoughtfully and responsibly move from an organization that has a deep, but relatively small impact, to one that is driving large-scale change in the nutrition sector at the national and regional level.