This pyramid helps to educate families on the different food groups that comprise a healthy diet.

KIGALI, Rwanda — In Rwanda, 38% of children under 5 are chronically malnourished or stunted, according to data from 2015, and the country’s problems with malnutrition have proved to be a hurdle that is hard to overcome.

While poverty and a lack of food are contributing factors to malnutrition — 38.2% of Rwandans live below the poverty line — the causes are cross-sectoral, said Alemayehu Gebremariam, Catholic Relief Services’ chief of party for Gikuriro, an integrated nutrition program.

Gebremariam believes a lack of education around nutrition — in particular around the frequency with which children need to be fed, and the vital food groups — poses a big problem.

“A child can succumb to malnutrition even if a household has good income, so it’s because of the knowledge gap,” he noted. “Educated mothers [the main caregivers in most households] have a better chance of preventing malnutrition.”

Enter: village nutrition schools.

Read on to find out how such schools are helping village mothers train each other to bridge the nutrition knowledge-gap.

This focus area, powered by DSM, is exploring innovative solutions to improve nutrition, tackle malnutrition, and influence policies and funding. Visit the Focus on: Improving Nutrition page for more.

About the author

  • Rebecca Root

    Rebecca Root is a Reporter and Editorial Associate at Devex producing news stories, video, and podcasts as well as partnership content. She has a background in finance, travel, and global development journalism and has written for a variety of publications while living and working in New York, London, and Barcelona.