Workshops and training to combat
childhood anemia in Peru
Mothers in the Ventanilla
area learn to adapt
recipes using low-cost
foods with high iron
This project is sustainable over time, since it is the mothers who from now on will teach and spread these hygiene and nutrition habits
Reduce the high percentage of childhood anemia and the serious risk of malnutrition suffered by more than 63% of children under two and 33% of children under five in the Ventanilla district, an area near the La Pampilla refinery in Peru. This was the initial challenge of the nutritional food security and anemia reduction program, started up in 2011 by the United Nations' World Food Program (WFP) in collaboration with Fundación Repsol.
This initiative seeks to improve food and hygiene habits in the home and promote the consumption of micronutrients and safe water. It is aimed at the mothers of children under five and pregnant mothers with scarce resources.
The success of the program is based on the high degree of participation of mothers, who learn to prepare recipes using food products with high iron content. In turn, they are offered the possibility of becoming qualified community advisers and training other mothers and fathers of their community. As explained by Isela Yasuda, Coordinator of Nutritional Projects of the WFP, "this initiative is sustainable over time, since it is the mothers who, with all the information we have given them, are going to teach and spread these hygiene and nutrition habits."
Given the positive results obtained, in 2015 it was decided to renew the alliance for another four years (2016–2020). In this second phase, two new target audiences were added: teenagers, who will receive healthy food talks at schools; and enterprising women, who will learn to prepare and market low-cost nutritional food by themselves. As pointed out by Isela Yasuda, the focus is "to train mothers in business issues in order to sell their products at affordable prices in other markets." In this manner, not only do we reduce childhood anemia, but also reinforce the economic and social development of the community, thereby guaranteeing project sustainability.
Since its start-up, more than 1,700 children under five years old and more than 3,000 families have benefited from the project, reducing the rate of anemia from an initial 52.6% to 29.6%.