News Release

Church of Jesus Christ Initiates Child Nutrition Project in West Africa

Church works with local agencies to provide malnutrition screening and training on nutrition

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has initiated a Child Nutrition Program pilot program in the Africa West Area. The program was piloted in Church buildings in Ghana and Sierra Leone in October and November 2023. The program is a collaboration between the Church and local health directorates. The pilot program provided screenings for malnutrition for hundreds of children, as well as training and literature regarding nutrition for their parents.

The effort aims to determine the status of the Church's primary children aged 0 to 60 months and develop interventions to bring everyone to a healthy level. The program also aims to educate mothers and expectant mothers on various topics addressing proper nutrition for mothers and children.

Through this initiative, local Church leaders can collaborate with government agencies and non-government organizations to educate families on the effects of malnutrition and help them implement long-term solutions.  Although the focus of the program was on children from local wards and branches, the screenings were open to the community.

Child Nutrition Project at the Freetown Sierra Leone East Stake. 25 October 20232023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The initial pilots were held in the Abomosu Ghana Stake Center on 20-21 October, the Yamoransa Ghana Stake Center on 1-3 November, and the Freetown Sierra Leone East Stake Center on 25 October 2023. At each of the stake centers, between 300-400 children were screened for malnutrition, and their parents were given literature and instruction on proper nutrition for their children. Any child determined to have health issues related to malnutrition were referred to local clinics for additional services.

The purpose of the pilot program was also to teach local leaders how to initiate the program in their areas and to access local resources in providing the best services for the children in their communities. Volunteers were trained to provide intake, welcome the visitors, and to perform additional administrative tasks. The local District Health Directorates provided the medical professionals who performed the examinations and made the assessments.

Managing the pilot program for the Church is Charles Kwablah Akorligleh, a manager in the Welfare and Self Reliance Department of the Church. He noted that the Child Nutrition Program provided Church leaders with the opportunity to reach out to those they serve.

“In each ward or branch, this program provides the Relief Society and Primary leaders the opportunity to reach out to those that they minister to and provide this wonderful opportunity for them to bless the lives of their children,” said Brother Akorligleh.

As part of the pilot program, another outreach and malnutrition screening event will be held at the Winneba Ghana Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 15-17 November 2023.

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