Kapu Africa's efforts to reduce stunting
A healthy start is a challenge for children in East Africa. That start can impact them for the rest of their life. Kapu Africa (Midwest Food Bank East Africa) isn't backing away from big goals to provide that healthy start by reducing stunting in Kenya and across East Africa.
What is stunting?
It is when a child has a low height for their age because of undernutrition, poverty, poor maternal health and nutrition, and frequent illness. These factors also contribute to a weakened immune system, organ development, and brain function. Stunted children can experience a reduced IQ by as much as 11 points. This cognitive stunting is irreversible and begins before physical stunting is noticed.
Declines in stunting: In Kenya, 18% of children are stunted under five, according to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey. While we are thankful the percentage has dropped from 26% in 2014, Kapu Africa wants to continue to lower that number by providing quality nutrition to children. It will take incremental changes, sustainable improvements, and prayer.
Kapu Africa's efforts: Kapu Africa produces Tender Mercies, a product similar to our version in the United States. Tender Mercies is manufactured in Kenya by Soy Afric Ltd. It is a high-protein meal made of rice, fractured cowpeas, full-fat soy, lentils, salt, and enriched vitamins and minerals. At about 14 cents per meal, it's also economical.
Kapu Africa connects with children's homes, schools, preschool centers, refugee camps, and many other places to get a bowl of Tender Mercies in front of a child. We also continue to look at how to improve Tender Mercies so more children are fed each year, and that 18% stunting statistic continues to decline. It will take that consistent approach to reduce stunting and provide a healthy start.
You can be part of our efforts in Kenya. First, pray for Kapu Africa and the children and families we reach. Consider funding a feeding program for a day, a month, or a year. At 14¢ a meal, your donation will make a difference in the lives of many children. You may donate here.
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