Nutritional Program

The nutritional program at the Casa Materna serves an average clientele of 25 people per day. This consists of children, and pregnant and lactating mothers. Severely malnourished children in the community are identified by the volunteers of CENMIM (Centro Nutricional Materno Infantil) and are invited to join the feeding program. The children receive one meal a day at noon. Their mothers are expected to participate in the preparation of the food where they learn about nutrition and safe food handling. Rural women who come to the centre for a period of up to a month to await delivery of their babies also participate in the nutrition program in an attempt to improve their nutritional status for the birth of their babies. In addition, lactating mothers with poor nutritional capacity are invited to join the program.

Identified children with severe nutritional problems come each day at noon to receive a meal. The children are waiting for their lunch.


Liliam (left), the Casa Materna’s midwife, and Maria (right), the nutritional program’s co-ordinator, help prepare the lunch with the mothers in the Casa kitchen.


Mothers are expected to help with the preparation of the food.


The children line up to receive their food.


This little girl is getting ready to eat her lunch. Any leftovers are taken home to share with the family.


Older siblings often come to the centre but there is not enough funding to feed them also.


Severely malnourished lactating mothers enjoy one meal a day at the nutrition program.


Many of the mothers attending the nutrition centre are young teenagers.


Here one of the young rural teenage mothers-to-be, awaiting the birth of her baby at the Casa Materna, is being given a bowl each of rice and beans to cook for herself over the weekend. She had no money to buy any food for herself in the town.



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