Community mobilization events help change nutritional practices in Mossuril district
Working with community radio journalists from RC On’hipiti, a radio station on Ilha de Moçambique, h2n program staff organized one of a series of community mobilization events that take place under the auspices of Transform Nutrition, a USAID-funded project focused on improving nutritional outcomes in Nampula. The event was focused on understanding myths, beliefs and practices related to food consumption, especially at the level of the family and community. At the beginning of the event, many voices (mostly male) were heard suggesting that the man should have first priority when it comes to the food in the family because he is the head of the household. Often, the husband will eat first, until he is full, and then the children and the wife will share what is left.
“This is what my parents taught me: after I prepare the food, I have to wait for the owner of the house [the husband] to return and let him eat first, even if I am hungry,” explains Zainabo Momade. “Now we know that my husband should let me and my children eat first, so as to ensure our good health.” The community mobilization event, which took place on Monday in the village of Yakala in the district of Mossuril, was recorded and later broadcast by community radio reporters with the objective of helping change behaviors and habits that lead to poor outcomes in nutrition, hygiene and sanitation. The reporters use the events to discuss the topics further on air and share them with a wider audience through radio programs such as Saúde na Comunidade, a radio program concept developed by h2n, which incorporates interviews and first-hand experiences of community members. A representative of SDSMAS for Mossuril district also participated in the community mobilization event.
The five-year Transform Nutrition project is implemented by a consortium led by ADPP that also includes h2n, GAIN, Viamo and UniLurio. h2n currently works in half of the districts in Cabo Delgado on efforts to strengthen civic participation and improve health outcomes. h2n works with community-based communication, produces television programs and videos, organizes youth centers and pursues a comprehensive gender equality agenda.