nutrition

Nutrition and agriculture

More than 5 million school children do not have ready access to nutritious food according to the Department of Education.  A child cannot concentrate and learn on an empty stomach and good nutrition plays a vital part in a good education.  Though some schools offer nutrition programmes of bread and juice, they are inadequate and cannot be relied upon to meet basic dietary needs.  The lack of sustainable agriculture and shortages of water have resulted in chronic malnutrition and persistent food insecurity for children.

In an effort to establish sustainable nutritional sources for children, as well as to encourage the self sufficiency of the child care workers, AIFEC supports vegetable gardens at Drop-in centres and schools.

Emergency Food Aid

Orphans and vulnerable children are provided with regular nutritious meals in the safe, nurturing environments of Drop-in centres.  Health Carers also provide food aid to their patients with HIV/AIDS and child headed families.

Agricultural Development

Fencing, tools, vegetable and herb seedlings are provided at the Drop-in centres, as well as fruit trees for orchards.  Child carers are trained in affordable permaculture methods, which entails the use of available natural resources for sustainable gardening.  Enthusiastic organic gardeners are developing resource centres that provide training, seeds and seedlings to other child care workers.  Indigenous hens are laying eggs, providing children with a valuable source of protein.  The gardens not only produce nutrition, but the women invest in education and health care for their children, thereby creating a positive cycle of growth out of poverty.

Water

AIFEC provides Drop-in centres with water storage tanks, gutters, taps, irrigation equipment, boreholes and pumps.   Permaculture training includes the digging of swales and mulching to encourage water retention.