Malilangwe’s Nutrition Program
The Malilangwe Trust’s Nutrition Program augments basic nutritional and energy requirements to over 20 000 children, every school-going day. This is achieved by the distribution of mahewu (a highly nutritious drink) to 32 schools and 4 orphanages in Malilangwe’s neighboring communities. This much-needed nutrition sustains the children, and results in improved attendance at schools.
The program runs in tandem with Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to ensure that all centers where mahewu is distributed have potable water and appropriately trained personnel who administer the project.
Each location has water samples tested regularly to ensure there is a significant amount of potable water which is required to mix the drink. At some sites, Malilangwe has addressed water hygiene standards through infrastructural changes, which assures quality control. Malilangwe also refurbished storerooms at each school which are used for storage and make-up of the mahewu.
The Trust employs 32 people in the local communities to be custodians of the Nutrition Program. Their responsibility is to make up and serve 300 ml of mahewu to every child at school and they have all trained in food handling and preparation, health and safety. Mahewu is made up in mixing buckets and served to the children in plastic cups, which the Trust provided.
Malilangwe carries out monthly post distribution monitoring visits to supervise food preparation, observe patterns of mahewu consumption, capture nutrition records and check on the cleanliness of utensils and storage facilities etc. In addition, The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare also conducts visits to each of the Nutrition Program’s sites.
Due to COVID and the closure of schools, the Nutrition Program was put on hold for 2020 and part of 2021. The mahewu that Malilangwe had in stock at the time was donated to an old age home and orphanage.