In February I had the unique experience of sharing my nutrition project with the West African Food Security Partnership (WAFSP) for an upcoming USAID conference. A filmer came to Danfili and spent a few days gathering footage to demonstrate the work that I’ve done with my community, and then shared it during a meeting in Washington, DC. Not to toot my own horn, but it was an important meeting to decide if funding should be renewed for the larger program that’s supporting Peace Corps’ nutrition initiatives.
In brief, to conduct this project, I worked with a community counterpart to create four lesson plans that we shared in six different villages and women’s groups around Danfili. We focused on educating community members on four important practices that contribute to preventing chronic malnutrition, starting with the mother’s nutrition during pregnancy and continuing on until the child is two years old (First One Thousand Days initiative). Overall we conducted twenty four of these presentations, more if you count our presentations at the health center, and reached over 300 people. David and I are really proud of our work, and excited to see the changes our trainings have made in families’ nutrition. Apparently Peace Corps was impressed too, because they recommended my project to the WAFSP.
During filming, I struggled with summarizing my project into a digestible YouTube video soundbite, but I think this video does a good job presenting an introduction into my life in Danfili. I wish I could sit over your shoulder while you watch it, to point out extra things, so maybe its better that I’m all the way over here while you watch it. If you’re interested however:
00:15 That’s my little nursery where I grow basil, tomato plants, two small moringa trees, some leafy greens, and peanuts. Now that the rain has started, I’m going to transplant them to a larger area.
00:27 That little boy calls me “Nasara Bebee” and greets me every morning on my way to the health center. The town’s main soccer field is in the background.
1:06 This was filmed in my home! Restraining from any comments about how I look in these shots.
1:28 David is my friend who first taught me Fulfulde at my post. He loved our training in Bamenda (remember that?) and has carried so many lessons from the training into his personal life, and the lives of his family and neighbors. His wife recently had a baby, and he and I spoke often about the things we had learned, relating that to her health during pregnancy and now that his little boy has been born.
2:50 The famous nutrition house (remember that?)
3:12 Habiba is another counterpart I work with at the health center. That bouncy baby girl is Phoebe Lynn!
4:08 Meet Asta! This is outside her kitchen, and where I spend most of my time when I visit her at her home. She showed the young mothers how to prepare the “enriched porridge” we kept talking about in the video. Our recipe blended soy flour and corn flour with peanut butter, sugar, oil, milk, and eggs to create a thick, sweet breakfast.
4:17 This little boy is still scared of me when I come to his family’s home. I don’t think we’ll ever become friends, I can’t take that kind of rejection!
5:02 These two boys live with Asta and are little terrors. Abdoul, in the purple, is a very smart and bossy kid who takes full advantage of being the baby of the family, while Faicel, in pink, is a much more timid, gentle little boy. Can’t you tell by just looking at them? I love them both and have enjoyed watching them grow since I first arrived in Danfili.
5:30 Baby Phoebe is the real star of this video!
Here’s another link to the YouTube video, take a look and let me know what you think!