In partnership with WFP and UNICEF, an international humanitarian agency is providing assistance to undernourished children in its feeding centers in Beni, around 400km north of Goma in Eastern Congo. In addition to feeding the children, U.S.-based World Vision is educating their mothers on how to prevent malnutrition by providing balanced diets.
According to World Vision, the education focuses on best-practice agricultural techniques, and the importance of animal proteins. Women are given technical education, and benefit from practical demonstrations at the feeding center.
The women, either mothers or primary caregivers of children who were discharged from the center, have used these lessons to start up small businesses in their communities. They are growing vegetables rich in vitamins in their fields, after being trained and followed up by World Vision staff.
"Ignorance kills more than anything," said Masika Kachumbano, 29, a mother of four. "I lost a child because I never knew how to feed my children."
Now, Masika is the president of a women's association in Mutwanga, around 47km from Beni. Through this association, she is trying to encourage other mothers to do more for their own benefit.
"I thank World Vision. Since they trained us, I have seen that my family's health has greatly improved, and I believe that none of my children will die again from malnutrition," she said.
Despite the ongoing peace process, the humanitarian need in the DRC is still great, particularly in the east of the country where three million people are believed to have been displaced from their homes by insecurity since 1996.