When you think of the old saying, “Rather than give a man a fish you should teach him to fish”, do you ever think of where to store the fish? Food storage is something that most of us do not think twice about. However, most Mozambicans living in rural communities think of this fact every day.
Storing food is something that many villagers have to spend a lot of time worrying about. Not having effective ways to store food puts many at risk of avoidable disease and poor nutrition, especially for the children. The country is still suffering from the effects of a protracted civil war that ended in 1992, historical knowledge about food storage has been lost in many communities. Reintroducing this knowledge will be a key way to address the issue of malnutrition, a serious issue in Mozambique. Currently 44% of children under the age of five are stunted from poor diet and chronic illness.
Esperança is partnering with local development groups to find innovative ways to address the issue. In the small village of Maciene, Mozambique, 145 miles north of the capital city Maputo, villagers are rediscovering ways to address issues of nutrition and food security. The Mabumwine Community Development Center will be working to reintroduce animal husbandry and food curing methods that have been lost. Women and children will be provided with training and technical assistance on different approaches to agriculture and food preparation. This training will include ways to increase community members’ crop yields, in addition to educating villagers on ways to preserve food, such as through traditional smoking and curing methods. Both efforts will lead to women and children having better balanced diets. Additionally, community members will be able to sell any surplus crops grown to create an alternative revenue source for the community.