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    A nutrition lesson for kids in Islamabad

    Day 220

    Full Bellies, Strong Minds

    Hi! My name is Shamaila, and I normally work out of the Minneapolis office. But this week I’ll be taking over for our last series of Pakistan posts (for now, of course!) in Islamabad and Gilgit. I’m so excited to share what we’ve been up to and all the change that been taking place!

    Today we’re in Islamabad, continuing to work on food and nutrition related projects in the non-formal schools we run. As we enroll 1 million more children into school, we’re also working to make sure they have full bellies so they can concentrate on their studies – rather than when their next meal might come.

    Pakistan has one of the highest rates of stunting in children in the world: between 38%-44% of children experience stunting, meaning approximately 1/3 of the world’s stunted children live in Pakistan. And this was quite apparent when we visited our informal schools around Islamabad.

    Wearing my public health hat – and through discussions with the Islamabad team – we decided to hire Zara, a well-known nutritionist in the city to lead a series of nutritional classes with mothers in the neighborhoods of Ispalal and Muslim Colony. In the initial session, women were able to ask questions to better understand which nutrients come from where and what a balanced diet for their children looks like.

    The best part was that they remained engaged for the entirety of the one-hour long sessions, laughing along with Zara, who made sure to make her lessons enjoyable and easy to follow along.

    As Zara told the women of Ispalal, “just like trees need water to grow, so do children need the right nutrients to grow. Children are our future and we want to make sure they can grow up just as we did.”


    Meet Shamaila!

    Shamaila is part of the Global Connections team based out of Minneapolis. She supports partnerships and fundraising for Alight’s initiatives with the diaspora, LGBTIQ+ refugees, Rohingya women, and beyond! She is deeply passionate about supporting the most marginalized communities worldwide – those living in the shadows — to reclaim their voice and has found Changemakers 365 a powerful tool to support this.

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