In 2009, ANERA’s Milk for Preschoolers Program (MfP) expanded to help children outside of school.
ANERA made sure young children were keeping healthy at home by conducting nutrition sessions for preschoolers’ mothers. “We are trying to reach as many mothers as we can. The children spend only four hours at school but spend most of their time at home,” said Mona Abu Ramadan, MfP manager. The sessions provided mothers with nutritional tips and easy food recipes.
Inside Zakher Society, in the Shejaiya neighborhood, a crowd of 50 mothers attended a two day workshop led by Dr. Fatima Suboh. The workshop tackled important health problems such as malnutrition and anemia. It also discussed unhealthy habits such as drinking sodas, thumb sucking and nail biting.
“I used to prepare yogurt to go with rice for my children, but I have learned that salad is healthier and vegetables are cheaper than yogurt. I am happy that we are learning quick and healthy recipes that are also cheap,” said one of the participating mothers.
The workshop was followed by a 10 sessions in health awareness coordinated by MFP monitors and preschools, in partnership with Islamic Relief-France. The courses were held all over the Gaza Strip. At least 40 women attended each course.
Grandmothers were also among the participants. Most family members were eager to learn about this valuable information and do their best to make their children happier and healthier.
MFP PROGRAM BACKGROUND
ANERA’s MfP program was designed to help combat malnutrition among Palestinian preschool children aged four and five by providing fortified milk and high energy biscuits daily at their preschools, located in needy communities all over the Gaza Strip. The program reached more than 25,000 children in 2009. The daily fortified snack ensured that preschoolers got at least one source of nutritious food each day.
This vital program was made possible through the generosity of a range of donors, from the Emir of Qatar to Secours Islamique|France to hundreds of individual donors all over the world.