Mariama and the mums against malnutrition
28-10-2016 | di COOPI

Mariama and the mums against malnutrition

Malnutrition can be tackled not only through material means, but also through psychosocial support. Mariama, a young Nigerian mother of two children, is well aware of this. She has benefited from COOPI's activities to improve the psycho-social wellbeing of children during their stay at the CRENI (Centre de Réhabilitation et d'Education Nutritionnel) in Tillabéry.

While her son Djabir was in hospital, Mariama participated in a discussion and individual support session and a group session with other mothers. During the meeting, Mariama shared similar experiences with other women and discussed their behaviour both during their stay at CRENI and when returning to the village. For Mariama, this moment of exchange "will contribute to the complete recovery of my son".

THE DEVELOPMENT OF DJABIR DEPENDS ON HER PSYCHOSOCIAL WELL-BEING

Madri e bambini che giocano

The absence of psychosocial stimulation has negative consequences for the child's development and mental health.  COOPI wants to avoid this vicious circle and, thanks to the project funded by the European Commission (ECHO), intervenes in the health district of Tillabéry since 2012 to manage acute malnutrition and reduce psychosocial harm in children under 5 years of age.

Unfortunately, malnutrition, which in Tillabéry is equal to 13% since 2013, compromises not only their physical state but also the psychosocial one that needs to be stimulated. In fact, during the group session, Mariama had the opportunity to express her concerns about the child's lack of interest in playing.

MARIAMA IS NOW HAPPY

"I'm happy and I learned a lot about the importance of play for the development of the child. I did not know it was so important for the child and especially for psychomotor, social, intellectual development ... I want to share (this information) with other women once in the village."

The individual counselling session "allowed her to understand some things about me [...]. Your advice will help me overcome my difficulties." At the end of her son Djabir's stay at CRENI, the young mother was asked what she learned from these activities: "[Spending time with my son] is very important, because it makes the child happy, can open up to the world and also strengthens our relationship".

It is important to be at the side of the most vulnerable populations to give them the tools necessary to overcome traumatic events and to positively reorganize their lives.

Communities are no longer mere beneficiaries, but active actors in the fight against malnutrition.

That's true. If you support COOPI you will not defeat malnutrition. Mariama and her son will.

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