Stories

Voices from the Field: Meet Margaret, a SANI Community Health Worker

November 2019 | Written by Alice Tembo, SANI Development Officer, CARE

Zambia After serving as a primary school teacher for thirty-four years in various communities of Zambia’s Shiwang’andu District, Margaret Bombeki decided to retire. However, she wished to continue contributing to the community that she lived in for so many years. So, she decided to volunteer for Kalalantekwe Rural Health Center as a Community Health Worker (CHW), where she received SANI’s maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN) training...

Voices from the Field: How one family mobilized their community

November 2019 | Written by Tegan Holmes, Cuso International Volunteer, Zambia

When SANI first began activities in their remote Zambian village, the Mulenga family was included because their six children, ranging in age from 3 to 13, were noticeably underweight and had been experiencing health problems associated with poor nutrition. Moreover, although the family was fortunate to have access to a river, farm land was not easily accessible and the water collection point in the river was not well-maintained...

Voices from the Field: The varied strengths of Body Mapping in Malawi

November 2019 | Written by Sheriff Wiredu, Cuso International Volunteer, Malawi

This past year, I’ve had the opportunity to attend several Body Mapping workshops. Sessions are delivered by trained Group Leaders and each Support Group includes (on average) 20 women and 5 men. Although Body Mapping workshops are unique and tailored to the Support Group in that community, they showed me that, overall, the strength and relevance of Body Mapping to the SANI project lies in several key areas...

Voices from the Field: Boosting small-scale farming success in Zambia

October 2019 | Written by Césarée Morier-Gxoyiya, Cuso International Volunteer, Zambia

Given its abundance of rivers, lakes and wetlands, Zambia holds the majority of Southern Africa’s freshwater. Nonetheless, irrigation for small-scale farmers remains a challenge. During the dry months, farmers must fill, carry and pour buckets of water onto the vegetables growing in their homestead gardens. This is a time-consuming and incredibly labor-intensive task which traditionally falls on women...

Voices from the Field: Papaya Trees are key to improved nutrition in Zambia

October 2019 | Written by Florence Lushibashi, SANI District Coordinator, CARE Zambia

In Zambia, the growth and management of fruit trees has been a significant agricultural activity of the Southern African Nutrition Initiative (SANI). The goal has been to provide lasting access to avocado, orange and papaya, especially for women and children. Importantly, papaya fruit has unique nutritious components, like high levels of Vitamins A and C...

Voices from the Field: Celebrating World Water Week in Zambia

September 2019 | Written by Tegan Holmes, Cuso International Volunteer, Zambia

In Zambia’s Mpika, Shiwang’andu, and Kanchibiya districts, the SANI team and local government authorities have worked hard to construct / rehabilitate boreholes that provide safe water for residents. A grand total of 45 boreholes are now available for community use! These boreholes not only reduce the distance between families and water, they also improve the quality of the water itself...

Voices from the Field: Body Mapping as art therapy in Malawi

August 2019 | Written by Chenai Kadungure, Cuso International Volunteer, Malawi

In my experience, the strong men and women in SANI’s HIV Support Groups benefit from Body Mapping because of the mental and emotional break it offers. Taking time out of their daily routines and demanding schedules, wherein expectations are high and their identities are so closely linked to others, helps to restore their dignity and connects them with others who are also HIV positive...

Voices from the Field: Getting to know Gezina in Malawi

June 2019 | Written by Tanja Kisslinger, Public Engagement Officer, CARE Canada

Gezina is one of those incredible people who make you aware that generosity has nothing to do with material assets and that geographic borders do not apply to human hearts. This hardworking, 24 year old mother of three children under the age of 8, gave us an entire day, her time, her attention, and a window on her personal life, simply because we asked if we could get to know her better...

Voices from the Field: "Twinning" for sustainability in Malawi

May 2019 | Written by Chenai Kadungure, Cuso International Volunteer, Malawi

Those who work in the sector know that international development is sometimes criticized for causing dependency, exploiting the communities it is meant to serve, or being a waste of time. Yet, as an international development worker and a Cuso International Volunteer, I stand on the side of hope. And in my practical experience, SANI is having a positive impact on the ground...

Voices from the Field: Growing new ideas and practices in Zambia

May 2019 | Written by Césarée Morier-Gxoyiya, Cuso International Volunteer, Zambia

The rainy season is over in Zambia, which means the time to harvest corn cobs and cassava roots has passed. Farmers are now transitioning from the field to the backyard to prepare their gardens for the vegetable season. Promoting the production of a wide diversity of vegetables in kitchen gardens is one of the ways SANI improves the nutritional health of mothers and children...

Voices from the Field: "Gender boxing" in Mozambique, Oy yay!

March 2019 | Written by Sabrina Neto, Cuso International Volunteer, Mozambique

On January 30th, members from all communities in the Mavume locality, Funhalouro district came together in the early hours of the morning at the request of their Leader. On this day, they would prepare the school yard at the newly constructed secondary school and attend a dialogue facilitated by CARE and Mahlalhe, a local partner organization...

Voices from the Field: Changing gender norms in Zambia

February 2019 | Written by Tanja Kisslinger, Public Engagement Officer, CARE Canada

It had been an incredible day... We spent hours in the sweltering Zambian sun gathering video footage and photos in a very rural and remote village called Chobela. I had traveled there to document the ongoing implementation and progress of CARE Canada's Southern African Nutrition Initiative (SANI). This particular day in Chobela was both educational and inspiring...

Voices from the Field: Father-to-father groups in Mozambique

February 2019 | Written by Sabrina Neto, Cuso International Volunteer, Mozambique

The Southern African Nutrition Initiative (SANI) in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia uses a variety of techniques to help disseminate essential information about the health and nutrition of women and children. A key strategy is peer support groups, whereby women and men have the opportunity to gather, discuss and learn on various topics, ranging from nutrition to gender norms...

Voices from the Field: Promoting Safe Water & Hygiene in Malawi

November 2018 | Written by Amanda Gawne, Cuso International Volunteer, Malawi

When water, particularly clean water, is scare, it has far-reaching impacts on health and wellbeing. The slightest bit of contamination can have debilitating consequences on families and communities, resulting in days of missed work and school. In places where clean water does not flow through the simple turn of the tap, the work of collecting safe water becomes a focal point of a days work...

Voices from the Field: Women Transforming the Community

August 2018 | Written by Celia Bartolomeu, SANI Gender Officer, CARE Mozambique

As a Gender Officer working on the Southern Africa Nutrition Initiative (SANI) in Mozambique, Celia Bartolomeu is always assessing the project to find evidence that it is having a positive impact on the local communities. Here, she shares an interview with a remarkable women’s group, called “TIANE”, in Benhane community...

Voices from the Field: Field Farmer Schools in Mozambique

June 2018 | Written by Katie Kendall, Cuso International Volunteer, Mozambique

In tandem with elevating nutrition awareness and fortifying community-level health support, CARE Mozambique staff and SANI project partners are working with smallholder farmers to improve agricultural techniques that increase yields, improve time and energy efficiencies, and ultimately help diversify the diets of men, women and children in surrounding communities...

Voices from the Field: Exploring Gender Dynamics in Malawi

May 2018 | Written by Ziana Ahmed, Cuso International Volunteer, Malawi

As a Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor working on the Southern Africa Nutrition Initiative (SANI) in Malawi, I am always eager to see evidence that the project is improving the nutritional status of women and children in the Dowa and Ntchisi districts. My work involves designing and implementing systems to monitor all the complex factors, like gender, that affect project performance...

Under the Mango Tree: My Visit to Mozambique and Zambia

April 2018 | Written by Tanja Kisslinger, Knowledge Translation & Public Engagement Officer, CARE Canada

Sitting under a mango tree in a small, rural community in Mozambique this past November, I began to truly appreciate the meaning of lasting change… I had traveled to Mozambique and Zambia to report on CARE’s Southern African Nutrition Initiative (SANI), which aims to provide women, families, and health providers with the tools they need to end malnutrition in women and children...