Koch June 2009

Name: Matthew Koch
Post: Se

Brief Project Description:

I’ve started a pregnant women’s support group in the village of Dré, south of my post. The group consists of 23 women who are either pregnant or have recently given birth and now have young children. The goal of the program is to decrease the importance of good nutrition on both maternal and child health. To this end, the women will conduct monthly meetings at the health center, in which they will cook a communal meal while a health agent presents a short discourse about some aspect of maternal child health, such as immediate and exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. The communal cooking session will demonstrate how to make a nutritious well-balanced meal using local ingredients and at an affordable cost. The women will provide the food (rice, tomatoes, etc) for each session, but they expressed concerns over bringing their marmites and casseroles to the health center, for fear of them being misplaced/lost. In light of this, I am asking for a GAD grant (reimbursement) to reimburse the cost of purchasing the pots required for the sessions. This is a one-time start-up cost that will have no effect on program sustainability. The pots themselves will be stored at he health center, and therefore will be readily available for use at al of the sessions.

Dates of Project: Undefined
Number of People Involved: 26 (23 women, 3 health agents)

Item Number Cost
Small Pot 1 4.700 CFA
Large Pot 1 9.000 CFA
Total Cost 13.700 CFA

Amount Requested: 13.700 CFA


GAD Coordinator: This sounds like a great project, especially as it’s actually a health center representative who will be doing the cooking demonstrations, but I can’t help but think that those pots are going to disappear into someone’s kitchen a few days after he COSes. What do you two think about this?
GAD Finance: I think this sounds like a really innovative project, and was excited to see this proposal. I do agree that there is a chance that they may disappear. Does he have a counterpart that he really trusts that could be responsible for them? Also, it would be great to have more information on who the “health agents” are. I think more information of this nature would be necessary before approving. Also, I think he needs to revise this sentence: “The goal of the program is to decrease the importance of good nutrition on both maternal and child health”. I think he means “increase”?
GAD Specialist: I agree with both of you. Is there a way he can form a follow-up committee of 3 people so we can sure the things will not disappear and continuity can be assured?

GAD Coordinator Update: Called Matt on 18/06; he stated that the health agents are the nurse and community trainer from Dre, a nearby town (his town does not have a health center). Although this is the first time that Matt has worked with these individuals, he stated that he chose them for their reputation in the community, and that they are well-regarded by the women constituents of his target audience. I brought up the issue of the pots disappearing, and he stated that he did not think this would be a problem, given his knowledge of the health center personnel, but he said that he would ask his homologue to work with the trainers between the time when he leaves and the next volunteer replaces him to make sure that the trainings continue and the pots are not stolen. If it does not seem that this plan will work, Matt agreed to lock the pots in his house when he COSes so that the Volunteer replacing him will be able to use them for additional training sessions. Funding approved.

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