A sharing programme on Child Nutrition, Protection and Quality Education was organised by Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) on 28 December 2016 in Kathmandu to share the learning and achievements from the Primary Education, Health and Nutrition Project with the national stakeholders -government, civil society and media.

Addressing as the chief guest, Mr Tarak Dhital, Executive Director of Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) said, by nature of the project, it is always implemented for a limited period of time, however, the awareness and consciousness raised in the community people remains forever. He also highlighted the need for collaboration between DCWC and civil society initiatives to sustain the achievements.

Ms Bandana Pradhan, Professor of Department of Community Medicine and Public Health and the Lead Evaluator of the Health, Education and Nutrition Project under SWC also made her remarks about the impact of the project. She said that the child malnutrition under 5 indicators has been improved in the project districts, which also contributed to the national indicators - Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and even complemented to the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM). 

Mr Harihar Sharma, representative of the Department of Health (Child Health and Nutrition Division) highlighted the need of multi-sectoral intervention to end malnutrition. Multi-sectors Nutrition Programme is currently operational in 18 Districts and the government is planning to expand other districts as well. The approach adopted by the RRN's Primary Education, Health and Nutrition Project seems to be replicable to government projects as well. Therefore, coordinated efforts between government and the civil society are most to fight against malnutrition.

Ms Narayani Joshi, representative of Department of Education said, we are already tied with School as Zone of Peace (SZOP). Collaboration also needed between government and civil society to an effective implementation of School Sector Development Programme (SSDP). 

Mr Shashidhar Sharma, the representative from Social Welfare Council (SWC) expressed his thought regarding the project. He said we are very much impressed with an interaction with the community people in the project sites during our monitoring visit. 

Ms Seema Luitel, Programme Manager of Welthungerhilfe (WHH) said, this was a pilot project integrating nutrition security of children with food security programmes. We are working in more than 40 countries and abide for zero hunger world particularly focus least developed countries. We received good results from this pilot project. We are trying to replicate its learning and best practices in other areas in Nepal.  

Programme was chaired by Mr Gyan Bahadur Adhikari, Executive Director of RRN, where Mr Bhanu Parajuli, Programme Manager of RRN presented the major achievements and learning by the Primary Education, Health and Nutrition Project. A book entitled "Changing Rural Life Stories", a compilation of success stories of the project also been launched jointly by a group of guests and community representatives. 

The project was funded by Welthungerhilfe, Germany which was implemented in 3 districts - Morang, Chitwan and Ramechhap for 4 years.


Testimonies:

Ms Uma Pokhrel, Mother of a SAM child (Morang)

"Our family kitchen used to be controlled by our mother-in-laws which determine the varieties and quantity of food items cooked. Consequently, particularly children and even mothers were deprived of adequate nutritious food and intake. As a mother, I myself was not aware of child malnutrition. 

As RRN's Nutrition project identified my daughter as a SAM, we used to care our children just to make them alive, but not for their healthy life. I took my daughter to Community -based Nutrition, Education and Rehabilitation Programme (NERP), and then, I learned how to cook and feed children with nutritious food.  My daughter became SAM to MAM and finally now she is normal. 

 Now, I also realised that the whole family is responsible for child malnutrition not only mother. 

Sanjaya Sambahamphe, Child Club Network

RRN's supported the Child Club Network and conducted various child rights-related training. Initially, we were not aware of the 10% budget allocated for children. We became aware of the provision of separate budget allocation for children.  We claimed that budget and participated in the VDC planning process and incorporated child related plans in the integrated VDC plan. 

We became able to conduct various campaigns against children issues, such as child marriage, child labour, violence against children and social malpractices. Thus, we could stop the 4 cases of child marriage and rescued the children from the worst form of child labour. 

The Child Club Network is representing the children to the VDC Council for intervening the children's interest in the VDC plan. Now, Jante VDC has also provided a room for the Child Club Network.