DAPP distributes food to vulnerable groups in Mudzi and Mutasa district

Development Aid from People to People has sourced 95 metric tonnes of dried and fortified vegetable soups. The soup is donated by USAID International Food Relief Program to DAPP through its sister organization Planet Aid Inc. USA. The program will benefit over 8,500 vulnerable people suffering from HIV/AIDS, the elderly, orphans and women enrolled in programs of preventing transmission of HIV virus from mother to child (PMTCT).

The program compliments the government of Zimbabwe’s efforts to cushion vulnerable people from the inadequacy of nutritious food. DAPP Zimbabwe will implement the program together with stakeholders in Mudzi and Mutasa districts. The stakeholders include but not limited to District Administrator’s office, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, NAC, local chiefs, village headmen and some community support groups. The stakeholders will participate in various capacities in identifying the specific vulnerable groups.

Distribution sites will be within the district wards were DAPP Zimbabwe is running the community development projects. HOPE Nyamapanda and Child Aid Kukwanisa being the 2 projects the distribution will be mainstreamed. At each distribution site a Program Beneficiary Committee (PBC) will be established. This committee will be comprised of two orphans heading their own households, two adults caring for an Orphans and Vulnerable Children, two People Living With HIV/AIDS, and two pregnant women participating in the PMTCT program.

At the launch of the USAID IFRP food distribution funded program in Mudzi district there were over 350 people who attended the event. In the speech made by the guest of honor on behalf of Mashonaland East governor he appreciated the gesture of the food distribution program and noted that it will go a long way in bringing nutrition to the vulnerable people and encourage openness among the HIV positive people.

The District Administrator of Mudzi Mr. Tawabarira Kutamahufa appreciated the work being done by DAPP Zimbabwe through HOPE Nyamapanda in assisting the People Living With HIV/AIDS in the community by providing livelihoods support and HIV/AIDS information especially on how to live a healthy life. Chief Chikwizo welcomed the idea of the food distribution and he further pledged for agriculture and vocational skills based community interventions to assist the community to recover and become self-reliant in their livelihoods.

According to the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe “HIV and AIDS has left over one million children without parents, resulting in increased vulnerability to neglect and abuse. Despite achievements in nutrition improvement that have been made in the past through food security programs, much of this progress has been eroded by recurrent droughts, poor economic environment and HIV & AIDS.”

8,580 people will receive in total over 4 million servings of fortified vegetable soups in a period of 7 months. The child headed households, pregnant women participating in the ANC and PMTCT programs in the local health centers, Orphans and Vulnerable Children as well as People Living with HIV/AIDS and their immediate families will be part of the program participants.

The dried soups has been enriched with Vitamin A,B and C and other essential minerals which are important for building a strong immune system.