USAID Deputy Mission Director Visits SPRING Program in Kok-Jangak Rayon of Kyrgyz Republic
Nathan Park, Deputy Mission Director of USAID/Kyrgyz Republic, visited SPRING/Kyrgyz Republic on February 8, 2017 in Kok-Jangak rayon, Jalalabad oblast. Mr. Park was visiting USAID programs in the southern region, including a visit to SPRING activity sites in the area. Mr. Park observed a training of community volunteers and joined a household visit to promote appropriate complementary feeding with a family of a young child.
Community volunteers are provided with trainings on different nutrition-related topics, which they then disseminate among their communities through meetings and visits to their neighbors to share information. The training Mr. Park attended was on long-term methods of storing and preserving nutritious foods at home. Using these methods improves access to diverse foods throughout the winter months, when availability of a variety of foods becomes limited. This training will allow families to store and preserve their own food when it is readily available, and reinforces previously-delivered messages on the importance of dietary diversity and appropriate dietary habits, such as consumption of increased number of food groups and reduction of junk food consumption.
Following the training, Mr. Park accompanied SPRING volunteers and staff on a routine household visit, sitting with the family in their living room while SPRING shared information and recommendations for the appropriate complementary feeding and continued breastfeeding for their young child. Mr. Park heard from the family about how they have been learning about nutrition from the SPRING program, including the importance of preventing anemia with a balanced diet and iron supplementation for pregnant women, as well as how best to feed the 11-month-old infant in the home. The family expressed their appreciation for the informative materials provided by the project and their desire for continued nutrition promotion in their communities, where information on appropriate nutrition has not always been readily available.