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In response to a devastating famine that followed a once in a hundred year drought in Matabeleland Province of Zimbabwe, the Rotary Foundation of Knoxville, LDS Charities (Australia), Rotary Club of Knoxville,District Rotarians from Arkansas Rotary District 6170, Rotary Club of Morrisville, NC, individual Knoxville Rotarians, The Zimbabwe Medical Project and Wild4Life formed a cooperative partnership to provide emergency food relief to more than 14000 protein calorie malnourished children in Matabeleland North Province under the age of 12.
The purpose was to provide protein, calorie, mineral and vitamin supplementation to rural children in Matabeleland suffering in the epidemic of Severe Acute Malnutrition that was overwhelming children in the rural areas of Matabeleland. We structured the project to help identify children and villages most at risk from SAM to provide high protein high calorie vitamin and mineral enriched porridge to those children, and to prevent further cases until the rains allowed the villagers to harvest food from their fields again. The famine had severely impacted the children of the area and it was estimated by the healthcare workers in Matabeleland North clinics that at least 40% of the 26,000 village children under the age of 10 were suffering from protein calorie malnutrition with certain escalating morbidity and mortality before the next rainy season without outside intervention.
This project succcessfully intervened in providing high calorie, vitamin and mineral enriched porridge to the highest risk children and lactating mothers during the one of the worst famines in recent memory in Zimbabwe and saved countless lives.
A huge takeaway from the success of this project was that a partnership made up of good people from three continents, separated by thousands of miles and from incredibly diverse backgroundscame together to save children in desperate need.
This was a true demonstration of International Ubuntu
"I am because we are"
Their timely intervention saved hundreds of children from an agonizing death from severe acute malnutrition...... who, as I write this,.....are now playing in the puddles formed from the incredible rains that have fallen recently. Thankfully,these rains have broken the drought and bumper crops are now forecast ......so these families
can now look forward to being able to feed themselves and the children in the coming year.
On behalf of the kids and their families, thank you so much to everyone who stepped forward to help.