Across the globe, families are celebrating the harvest season and giving thanks for an abundance of food. At the same time, 795 million people around the world do not have enough nutrition to lead healthy lives, a shortage that particularly impacts babies and children.
Malnutrition is particularly significant in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where it is estimated 23% of children are underweight. This challenge is especially felt in areas impacted by conflict and displacement when farming is limited and food scarcity rises.
At Congo Kids Initiative one of biggest goals is to ensure that the children of St. Kizito have healthy meals so that they can grow strong bodies and minds. Planting gardens and maintaining livestock are some of the ways we’ve invested in long-term, sustainable strategies to ensure our busy kitchen is full of great food. For little ones, who aren’t ready for solid food, we need other options.
At no period is nutrition more important than during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life (from conception through the second birthday.) Poor nutrition at these ages can lead to stunted growth, cognitive impairment, and long-term learning challenges.
Because babies cannot eat solid food, in the early years, breastfeeding offers a wonderful (and free!) way to eat for health. But orphaned infants are dependent on access to enriched formula with nutrients to ensure that they are prepared for life! In the DRC, what we take for granted - easy access to formula - can be prohibitively expensive. That’s why Congo Kids Initiative is working hard to provide steady access to formula the St. Kizito babies so that we can welcome everyone who needs our care.
In this season of abundance, we invite you to join us in #GivingThanks on #GivingTuesday to ensure that children in Congo share in the celebration!
Click here to give $10 or more today and make a difference in a child’s life.
Statistics provided by the World Food Programme and UNICEF