New project! Tackling child malnutrition in Ghana

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CHIPS has launched a new project to help tackle the serious issue of child malnourishment in Northern Ghana, while following the same principles of its other projects to help build peace across the ethnic divide.

As Paul Maxwell-Rose, Co-Director (Programmes) at CHIPS explains: “Today in Ghana, around one in five children suffer from chronic malnutrition. This rises to one in every THREE in the Northern region where we work.” 

As our team visits communities in Northern Ghana through our peacemaking projects, we regularly see the heartbreaking signs of malnutrition.

Underdeveloped children who are often too short for their age. Young minds that will never reach their full potential because of mental impairment. Frail bodies struggling to recover from common infections. And we see this on both sides of the ethnic divide.

Many parents tell us they don’t know what is wrong with their sick children. They struggle to access medical help and often the problem ends up treated with ineffective home remedies or spiritual healing. Without help, these children will face serious consequences for the rest of their lives. The most severely affected will struggle to live independent lives. Some will die before adulthood.

“We’re already working to tackle malnourishment where we can. But we’ve felt for some time that God is calling us to do more”, says Desmond Mpabe, our Ghana Team Leader. “As the effects of Coronavirus begin to hit the economy, this problem will only grow worse. We believe we need to act now.”

Can you help us tackle child malnutrition and build peace?

However, our resources are limited, and we need your support to help more families. Your support will allow us to make high-nutrition porridge packs for parents to feed their children. It would also enable us to show families how to grow and prepare the food themselves and organise regular follow-up sessions to weigh the children and check on their progress.

Importantly for CHIPS, the project will also help to make peace. Following the same principles as our other work, it will bring together groups from both sides of the ethnic divide and help tackle poverty, one of the key root causes of conflict.

Tabir’s story: giving a child a future

Tabir’s distended stomach shows the tell-tale signs of chronic malnutrition, but now he and his family are receiving the support they need.

Tabir is three years old. His parents were deeply concerned when he didn’t grow as expected. They desperately looked for help, but the local health centre couldn’t take them on. When they consulted a community seer, he said the child is cursed and has no future.

Tabir’s parents have been blessed with two sons, but life has not been easy. His father labours hard in their small farming community but struggles to put enough food on the table.

Thanks to our training with local partner charity NESO, we spotted the signs of malnutrition. We came alongside the family to provide high-nutrient porridge and show them how to make the food themselves.

Tabir has begun to return to health and each time we see him, his young body has developed a little more. His parents say they are thankful to God because they now know Tabir DOES have a future!

Your gift can make a big difference!

By giving just £10 a month, you could support one malnourished child like Tabir through to healthy adulthood. And £20 a month would support his brother too.

Alternatively, a one-off gift of £10 would get us started with a
month’s supply of high-nutrition porridge for a child like Tabir.
£50 could pay for a follow up visit to a community to check on
children’s progress. And £100 could provide training for ten
families on how to prepare their own food.

To set up a monthly gift, visit chipspeace.org/donate and
enter the project code CHILD when prompted.

To make a one-off gift, please visit our special appeal page
crowdfunder.co.uk/ghanachild

Alternatively, feel free to send us a cheque at the following address, writing ‘CHILD’ on the back: CHIPS, Unit 7, Warwick House, Overton Road, London SW9 7JP, UK.

Thank you for helping us to launch this important new project – we truly appreciate your support!

 

These are estimates of what your donation could achieve, given for illustration. They include the cost of treatment and our costs to deliver the project. In the unlikely event that we raise more money than we need, we will allocate your one-off or regular gift to our other work helping to build peace in Ghana.

Names, photos and personal stories have been anonymised and blended.