Learn how Peace Corps Senegal teaches community members important nutrition lessons to increase their food security.
In Senegal, 26 percent of the population is undernourished and chronic malnutrition levels are particularly high among children under five. Improved nutrition involves better access to healthy food and intentionally utilizing what's available. Volunteers work toward sustainable nutrition development through education, diet adjustment, and organized community action plans.
Volunteers educate their communities about nutrition in a variety of settings: through training sessions with health posts, presentations at women's group meetings, prominent mural projects, and informal conversations with farmers and gardeners.
Volunteers work with schools to incorporate nutrition into lesson plans and to build new learning models for nutrition information.
School gardens provide both a visual and tactile tool for nutrition education.
Through the Food Security Initiative, volunteers will educate 66,500 students about nutrtion over the next four years.
In addition to producing more food, improved diet involves better utilization of the nutritious food already available. PCVs promote a number of fortified foods that call upon local plants and resources.
One such tree is the Moringa Oleifera. Peace Corps volunteers throughout West Africa are currently promoting moringa as a nutrient supplement for children and adults.
The sustainable success of the food security initiative requires a new perspective and long term planning from local communities. Peace Corps Senegal aims to facilitate community-based, five year action plans in 200 villages with the Food Security Initiative.
The PACA process takes measures to include the voices of men, women, boys, and girls. Together, the community identifies food security needs and the feasability and priority for meeting those needs. Various villages might decide to work toward a new well and community garden fence, a new seed storage facility, or to organize technical skill trainings for local growers.