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Community Nutrition Project Bidibidi Refugee Settlement Yumbe District

Iam thrilled to share with you that PACHEDO and Network for Action against Malnutrition (NAM) participated in a one-year Community Nutrition Implementation Research Project generously funded by JICS and LUSH, Termo in Japan. This impactful initiative was carried out in Zone 5 of the Bidibidi refugee settlement, with a specific focus on addressing the issue of moderate acute malnutrition among 300 children under the age of 5.

The core objective of this project was to significantly reduce the prevalence of malnutrition among children aged 6 to 59 months in the Bidibidi refugee settlement, which is located in Yumbe District. To achieve this, the project employed the innovative Positive Deviance/Health approach, a "strength-based" methodology grounded in the belief that within every community, there existed individuals referred to as "positive deviants." These individuals, through their unique practices and behaviors, managed to effectively prevent malnutrition, even when facing similar resource constraints and risks as their neighbors.

Key to this approach is the Positive Deviance Inquiry (PDI), a dynamic process through which community members were actively engaged to uncover the distinctive practices and behaviours that contribute to the improved nutritional status of children among these positive deviants. Program staff collaborated closely with community members to facilitate the sharing of these best practices and to empower families with malnourished children to learn and implement these strategies, ensuring better feeding and care for infants and young children. The project did not only aim at addressing the critical issue of child malnutrition but also promoted community engagement and shared learning to uplift the nutritional well-being of children in the Bidibidi refugee settlement.