In West Pokot County in remote northwest Kenya, your donations to Action Against Hunger are hard at work improving the lives of the pastoralist Pokot people. This includes women like Regina Chelimo Domoo and her daughter, Chepchumba Claudina Musa, and son, Pkemei Tokou Musa.
Women like Regina sometimes walk for many kilometres to access services at Action Against Hunger outreach clinics – which open their doors regularly for local moms thanks to your generosity.
Our local health workers weigh and measure their babies, checking for malnutrition and treating it. Because you care and support this work, these health workers can also provide testing and counselling to the young mothers, many of whom do not know the importance of exclusive breastfeeding. Others are unable to exclusively breastfeed because they must walk long distances to work or collect water, leaving their newborns with a grandmother.
Your compassion means we can empower women like Regina to share vital health information with other women in their communities, including the importance of breastfeeding during the first six months of a child’s life. Early marriage is common among the Pokot and most girls become young mothers in their early teens (Pokot women have an average of seven children — one of the highest rates in the world).
About 85% of the Pokot are illiterate and many of their children still do not attend school due to their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Thanks to your support for health initiatives in places like West Pokot, Action Against Hunger has been identifying women like Regina to facilitate mother-to-mother support groups. Last year, Regina created a group in her village that more than two dozen women now regularly attend.
“Many women now understand the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to prevent sickness and malnutrition,” says Regina, noting that some young women in her group used to feed local herbs and goat milk to newborns. Indeed, she says with a smile, “women are also embracing breastfeeding as a family planning method.”
While Regina’s own children, Chepchumba and Pkemei, both experienced sickness and undernourishment in their younger years, they are now healthy and strong thanks to your support.
We cannot do excellent public health work without your help. Please know how honoured we are when you choose to make a gift to Action Against Hunger.