Daron McDonnaugh, CRS Liberia
Monrovia (Agenzia Fides) - A total of 570 young mothers and their children are receiving assistance from the HELINA project, an aid program run by the Catholic Relief Services for young mothers and their children in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
In a country where one in three children suffers from rickets due to poor diet, malnutrition and poor hygiene, such a project is particularly important: all 570 participants are regularly visited by a health worker trained by the country's Ministry of Health, who
provides advice on nutrition and hygiene at home. The children's growth is monitored monthly at the local health facility.
In 2013, 32% of children in Liberia had stunted growth. In 2020, the average was 30%. In 2013, 6% of children were classified as underdeveloped, a percentage that dropped to 3% in 2020.
Special support programs for mothers and families and other measures aim to reach out to mothers, other family members and spouses so that they can get the support they need to care for their children independently.
In the second phase, the program then offers young mothers entrepreneurship training and
and initial funding to start, expand or improve a small business so they can become financially self-sufficient. By learning new skills, mothers will be able to better manage or increase their income and thereby also take better care of their children, starting with better nutrition. The project also promotes the mutual support of all participants in the spirit of solidarity. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 31/8/2022)