Malilangwe’s Nutrition Program
This program shifted operations with a transition from corn-soy porridge, replacing it with mahewu (a highly nutritious drink) which is currently distributed to 32 schools and 4 orphanages. This has decreased the number of sites but has upscaled the reach to over 20,000+ children. Each location had water samples tested to ensure there was a significant amount of potable water, required to mix the drink. Mahewu is not cooked, nor is the water boiled, so it is of utmost importance that water quality is good.
Initially, there were a few challenges with dry boreholes, due to the increased demand for water for domestic and livestock consumption in the hotter months, and hygiene standards of water, where schools share water sources with communities. These issues were addressed, and infrastructural changes were carried out by Malilangwe so that water sources were deemed fit to drink. Water is re-tested every quarter for quality control. A donation of a submersible pump, which was installed at Ndali Primary School, is most appreciated by the school and the community alike.
31 local women and 1 man were employed as custodians of the Nutrition Program to make and serve 300ml of mahewu to every child, each school day. Mahewu is fermented for 18 to 24 hours before consumption and the children are served according to class. The custodians all attended training in food handling, health, and safety and underwent screening for food handlers. Malilangwe refurbished rooms at each school for storage and make-up of the mahewu, as well as supplied mixing buckets and plastic cups for all children.
Post distribution monitoring visits are conducted every month by a member of the NOP team, who supervises food preparations, observes patterns of mahewu consumption, captures nutrition records and cleanliness of utensils and storage facilities. In addition, The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare also conducts visits to each of the Nutrition Program’s sites.