By Natasha Tamplin – Chad Portfolio Advisor, World Vision Australia
Looking back on 2014, I’ve been really encouraged by the transformation that occurred in the Pende and Loumia projects.
Since 2003, Chad has been deeply affected by ongoing conflict that has impacted the country’s economic development and education system. It is currently the seventh poorest country in the world with 80 percent of the population living below the poverty line.
This is why World Vision has focused on improving health and education services, protection and safety and by strengthening community systems in our projects.
As a result of sponsoring a child in Chad, your support has helped improve standards of living in these two communities. Here are the top achievements of 2014 that show you five reasons why your sponsorship is making a real difference.
1. There has been improved nutrition
The fight against severe acute malnutrition of children under five is strong. World Vision’s approach to tackling this issue is through the promotion of dietary diversification (teaching families to grow a variety of different foods), and strengthening the ability of people and facilities to better rehabilitate malnourished children.
In Pende, as a result of young girls and boys receiving training on gardening techniques they began to implement vegetable crops around their own home, improving their ability to provide for their basic needs.
The proportion of children aged 0 to 23 months with wider food options has increased from 84 to 91 percent.
In Loumia, there has been an increase in the nutritional status of children because communities are identifying malnourished children earlier and improving their nutritional care.
Modou Abakar, the head of a community in Loumia, explains:
“Our children die of malnutrition while we thought they were killed by mystical diseases. Now our eyes are open on the causes of death since World Vision has trained us to identify cases of malnourished children in our villages. Since this training, we found that very few children die compared to the past.”
2. Education rates are on the rise
One of the most valuable achievements last year was that parents are now more aware of the importance of school registration and the need to contribute local materials to assist in building and improving facilities for the students.
The proportion of children who completed their basic education in Pende increased from 33 to 53 percent, while in Loumia, World Vision saw a decrease in drop-out rates - from 11 to 20 percent.
3.We’re seeing healthier children – and communities too
World Vision saw a massive jump in the number of people (particularly children under five) using mosquito nets compared to the previous year – from 41 to 95 percent in Loumia, and 66 to 95 percent in Pende.
The percentage of children vaccinated in Pende against tuberculosis has also risen from 54 to 82 percent.
In Loumia, 64 percent of households now have improved access to latrines; 78 community members were trained in latrine construction and maintenance; and 99 percent of households have access to drinking water sources.
4. Child protection – Communities are becoming safer for young girls and boys
Better awareness of child protection in communities means that children in Pende and Loumia are safer.
World Vision establishes and trains groups of local community members on the importance of protecting children from harm. Because of this, in Loumia last year, these community members held their own sessions on the rights and protection of children throughout the rest of their community.
World Vision also trained child protection committees to regularly monitor children in the communities and report any cases of abuse.
Through World Vision’s celebration of the International Day of the African Child, children were made more aware of their rights and duties, and parents were reminded of their responsibility to ensure that the substantial needs of children are met.
5. Communities are better prepared for emergencies
The ability of communities within projects to cope with health and natural disasters has been strengthened. World Vision formed emergency response committees and trained them to develop their own community disaster preparedness plans.
I want to thank you for sponsoring a child in Chad in 2014 and I look forward to seeing what your support can do in 2015.