J735N ‘Forever Projects’; Nutrition, Empowerment and Independence’ in Mwanza, Tanzania’s second largest city, works with Forever Angels Baby Home to support babies who have no lactating mother during their first year of life. The project initially addresses nutrition, and then family empowerment through micro business development to be able to achieve independence and self-sufficiency.
Many babies in the Mwanza region are in danger of malnutrition, illness and death and would normally be placed in an orphanage. This project enables these babies to stay with their families in their own communities whilst receiving essential medical and nutritional support and education as well as formula milk. Caregivers or parents of the babies gather on a weekly basis in support groups and are educated about childcare, basic first aid and nutritional needs of the children. Additionally, these visits are used to monitor the baby’s weight as well as their growth and development.
The baby’s family is also supported to set up a small business to meet the nutritional needs of the baby (and whole family) once the baby is weaned from formula milk. The family receives training from Forever Angels staff in business skills – marketing, budgeting, financial management and building a customer base. This proven method empowers the entire family to grow and succeed, assisting the family to become self-sufficient.
Once the family business is well established and a regular income is being generated, the family are given the opportunity to own their own home. Local workers are engaged and trained to construct the house which includes a separate spare room to provide rental income to repay the cost of the house. The repayments from the houses built as part of the Forever Project are pooled into a revolving fund that is used to replicate the house building process for other families. As an added incentive, once the agreed amount has been paid, families are rewarded with solar power leading to greater productivity as well as a cleaner and safer environment.