Help save a mother and child with our Chicken and Egg Nutrition Project
Thousands across the remote region of Maucatar in Timor-Leste face extreme hunger and malnutrition
HELP SAVE A LIFE WITH OUR JUNE TAX APPEAL
Timor-Leste remains one of the world’s poorest countries. Maucatar is a remote mountainous area where there is chronic malnutrition, high mortality rates, especially high maternal and baby death rates (38.1 of every 1,000 births under the age of five). These communities have little or no access to clean water, sanitation, roads, education or infrastructure.
For the 13,240 people who live across 22 villages here, there are no homes with running water, bathroom or toilet facilities and most villages do not have electricity. Families here live off what they can grow and find in the forest.
It is here Mercy Works partners with the inspiring Hospitaller Sisters of Mercy to provide a maternity clinic to care for, to educate and to conduct outreach work in remote villages.
Of the 226 antenatal mothers seen at Maucatar Maternity Clinic in 2021, 42.9% were severely malnourished and 76% of postnatal mothers were undernourished.
This chronic malnourishment leads to many other diseases, but because of poor nourishment in lactating mothers, the incidence of stunted growth in children is extremely high.
These Sisters SAVE LIVES and have developed a project to improve the nutritional status of mothers and young children by providing extra protein through the distribution of eggs and egg-laying hens in the area.
Here, 40 families were given 2-3 hens. They learn to take care of and be responsible for their hens through training workshops and planning programs. According to the Sisters, by increasing their own home kitchen gardens these families can not only provide a healthier diet but also sell their eggs at the clinic.
“By raising egg-laying hens, families are able to raise their income and live a better quality of life, by developing their own home kitchen gardens.Many of the families have followed the lessons and advice we are teaching and demonstrating,” says Sr Gilbert Pathrose, who leads the initiative.
Chickens and eggs are considered one of the main sources of protein in the diet of the people of this mountainous area.
However, it has been difficult for the Sisters and staff to sustain chickens due to the colder weather. There are often predators in the forest areas hence the idea to farm the chickens with families.
“Having a good balanced diet for every member of the family will build a healthy community,” says Sr Gilbert. “Our goal is for every home to have a kitchen garden to cultivate nutritional foods, to help with breast feeding, to ensure mothers are able to have a healthy baby and a safe delivery and to potentially gain an income.
Mercy Works NEEDS YOUR HELP to continue this LIFE-SAVING work providing extra protein through the distribution of eggs through the maternity clinic. YOUR HELP will increase egg production as well as the number of egg laying chickens within the subdistrict.
The Sisters health assessments within the community and outreach include:
- Supplying a diet with sufficient protein, carbohydrates, and fat
- Measuring the weight and height MUAC and oedema check every month
- Assessing for signs of skin, ear, nose and throat infections and pneumonia
- Assessing for signs of developmental delay
- Assessing for signs of micronutrient and electrolyte deficiency, as well as signs of vitamin A, Zinc and Iron deficiency.
- Health education program to demonstrate locally available foods which are highly nutrient and how they can be used in their daily life.
To see the life-saving impact of this wonderful project I urge you to read Leticia’s Story
TO DONATE CLICK THE LINK:
Sally Bradley RSM