With familial roots in farming, it is perhaps not surprising that El Hadji Issakha Diop became a nutritionist.
“As my father raised sheep and cattle, my mother raised vegetables. I was lucky,” he says, telling me about fruits he used to pick.
“I think this has been a great influence to me getting into nutrition.”
Diop’s early studies were in science, and after he completed his Master’s, he was supposed to be a teacher. But for the first time a graduate studies program in nutrition was launched in Senegal—and his family encouraged him to continue his studies.
Nipa Chakma, a day laborer, was living in poverty. Sometimes she secured seasonal work in the paddy field or collecting firewood, but such inconsistent work made everything uncertain.
With the crisis entering its ninth year and showing no signs of abating despite recent efforts, 10.7 million people continue to be in urgent need of life-saving assistance across north-east Nigeria, far-north Cameroon, Western Chad and south-east Niger. Nearly 2.4 million people are displaced with fresh waves of violence and human rights abuses resulting in thousands arriving into congested sites on a weekly basis.
The first time Fatie Sore sowed the seeds of a plant called African nightshade, her curiosity about the vegetable was tinged with apprehension. She had never grown it before — in fact, she had never even heard of it before HKI provided her with its seeds.
The undersigned INGOs welcome the organization of the first regional conference on stabilization for the Lake Chad Basin and the involvement of all present actors to find long-term solutions to the current humanitarian, security, political and socioeconomic crisis in the region.
Helen Keller International (HKI) is an international, non-profit organization, with 21 country offices world-wide. Created in 1915, HKI’s mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged by combating the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition through evidence-based programs. HKI opened in Sierra Leone in 2004 and currently receives funding from USAID, Irish Aid, UNICEF and others.
Country Program Overview
HKI started its programs in Mali in 1998 with an initial focus on nutrition. Currently, HKI’s program focuses on nutrition and the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The nutrition program works to prevent malnutrition through a behavior change approach focused on essential nutrition and hygiene actions in addition to strengthening the capacity of health centers to manage acute malnutrition. HKI also supports the Government of Mali for the supplementation of children under age five with Vitamin A.