LAOS – In early 2009, World Renew played an integral part in developing a nutrition training program to address rates of malnutrition as high as 50% in children throughout Laos. In partnership with other NGOs, we created an ambitious curriculum we called LANN — Linking Agriculture and Natural Resources with Nutrition.
We were excited to be a part of this curriculum that was introduced to villages in a series of “village rollouts,” or VROs, and subsequently brought to several other developing countries for translation and introduction by other organizations.
Meanwhile, World Renew Laos has continued to make use of the core training approach in new target villages. In 2015, Project Advisor Marrion Omanyo and the health team began reviewing, revising, and simplifying the training to make it more appropriate for the remote areas on which we were now focused. In this edition of the curriculum, Marrion and the team collaborated closely with the agriculture staff about increasing the availability of various fruits and vegetables grown in the village.
VRO 1 will now focus on reviewing the foods currently available in a village, grouping them into the six food groups and discussing how these food groups help the body. VRO 2 will review the food groups in specific relation to the health of mothers and children and VRO 3 will engage villagers in cooking demonstrations to encourage diet diversification. Each training involves discussion about the availability of each food group in the village and the creation of action items to ensure that foods that aren’t currently available become so.
We have been encouraged by our staff’s improvement in design, planning, and application of adult learning principles during this process. We look forward to supporting the health and the agriculture teams as they continue to work with patience, persistence, and a common vision for improving the food security and nutrition in partnering villages.
Prayers for Laos:
- Sometime in December, the project in Xieng Khouang will undergo an end-of-project evaluation, so we are currently seeking an external evaluator.
- Our current project manager in Xieng Khouang, Ms. Mina, received a full scholarship to get her master’s degree in community development in Australia. We are excited about her opportunity to grow in capacity and are now recruiting for her replacement.
- On May 7, an electrical fire destroyed 32 of the 43 homes in Sanden village. The government responded strongly and generously and the villagers are slowly recovering. We will continue to be involved in the long-term recovery effort.
- Laos and neighboring countries have been hard hit these last few months by heavy rains and flooding causing damage throughout the region. Several target villages in our project along the river have also been affected, with some 25 families having their homes flooded. A bridge that the project built several years ago to enable children to walk safely to high school and improve access to health facilities in the rainy season was totally destroyed by a powerful flash flood. Other communities have been affected much worse.
World Renew Laos