Melody had orange hair…not dyed, but a clear sign of advanced malnutrition.
Every day at least once a day, women and young girls cook the traditional corn meal staple food (nshima) in big pots over open fires. Their pots boil with the ingredients they can afford--if they can afford them. But first they have to carry enough water and wood to start a blaze hot enough to cook the thick corn meal. Children of all ages are gathered nearby and babies are cradled to the backs of the women, leaving their hands free. These loving caregivers labor diligently to feed their families, but children like Melody are seen everywhere. Orange hair is not a rarity but a reality.
Melody as well as her brothers and sisters were severely malnourished. When this happens, their bodies shut down anything they don’t need in order to survive. This includes the pigment of their hair, so a child’s hair becomes orange. Melody and her brother, Lamar, were so malnourished they even lost their orange hair. Both their mother and father are unemployed with no means to be able to give their children the extra calories they so desperately needed.
We provide food for the most severely affected children. We are careful to give them nourishment that is full of vitamins and minerals, food like infant formula, groundnuts (a Zambian peanut) and, when the budget allows, an added supplement called HEPS or high energy protein supplement.
Little by little, Melody and her siblings are responding to the good food we provide and the support and encouragement of her family and our social work staff.
Will you help us increase the number of children we can feed?
Click on DONATE, then choose FEEDING: WHERE NEEDED MOST from the drop-down list.
Read a story about Food for Mother. Children waiting for Milk & Medicine sponsors.
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