Marie Tshilomba Mfuamba with her 3-year-old son Kasonga Kayembe Bidef, Kabata (DRC), September 2022 | © HI / V. Nikolic
Despite Marie's best efforts, her son had a serious health problem: malnutrition. HI came to her aid.
Marie Tshilomba Mfuamba is a strong, determined woman who lives in the village of Kabata, in Dibaya territory, Central Kasai province, with her three-year-old son, Kasonga Kayembe Bidef, and seven other family members.
Marie had been living in Kabata for 10 years and was struggling financially. She had to go to the market to buy her food, and was unable to grow her own vegetables. But with the help of HI, everything changed. HI provided her with farming tools, seeds to grow and even financial aid to help her buy food to support her family.
Marie also received training in nutrition and learned better techniques for growing peanuts and vegetables. Today, she grows tomatoes, aubergines and cabbage in her own garden. She is no longer dependent on market produce for food, and has even been able to save seeds for the following season. This dietary diversity has not only improved her son's health, it has given Marie renewed hope and independence.
HI's support for Marie and her family has also benefited the rest of the community. The inhabitants of the village of Kabata now have better access to nutritious food.
"When my son suffered from malnutrition, I felt helpless and didn't know what to do. But with HI's help, I was able to give him the food he needed to grow. I am very grateful for HI's support and I am proud to say that my son no longer suffers from malnutrition."
With HI's help, Marie has gone from feeling hopeless and helpless to being a role model and inspiration to others in her community. Today, Marie and her son are healthy and thriving. Her determination is an example of what can be achieved with the right support and resources.
HI has helped strengthen food security in four different regions of Dibaya Territory (Tshilela, Bena Kamboke, Fumba and Mupoyi) through the implementation of an agricultural recovery and food assistance project that has improved the living conditions of more than 54,000 households.
This project was supported by the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance and implemented in consortium with Action Contre la Faim for a period running from November 2021 to February 2023. It focused specifically on distributing financial aid and preventive actions to combat malnutrition, including awareness-raising on good nutritional practices.
The results show a clear improvement in food and nutritional security among beneficiaries. The project has helped to increase the availability of certain vegetables on local markets at prices that are more affordable, especially for the most vulnerable households.
Thus, the project set up by HI has had a real impact on the daily lives of the people supported.