Simone Fertile lived a life similar to many women in her community in Haiti – she’s married, has four children, goes to church, and is involved in minor commercial activities. But everything changed for Simone when she was chosen by her community to take on the role as a Mother Leader with Partners of the Americas’ Nutrition Security Program.
As a Mother Leader, Simone underwent 24 trainings over the course of one year to learn how to empower other women and families in her community. Using culturally appropriate skits, cooking demonstrations, and simple conversations, Simone taught women in her community how to improve access to quantity and quality nutrition, as well as improve health, hygiene and family planning. Like all Mother Leaders, Simone encouraged other mothers and families to participate in various livelihood activities including community gardening, goat breeding stations, and small scale agriculture transformation products.
Since becoming a Mother Leader, Simone’s impact on her community has been tremendous. Thanks to the knowledge gained in her trainings, Simone noticed two of her neighbor’s children were showing extreme and life-threatening signs of malnutrition. Upon Simone’s recommendation, the neighbor took her children to the health center. With the support of the local doctor, along with nutrition counseling from Simone, the two children made full recoveries.
In another instance, Simone’s neighbor, a nurse in the local health clinic, was so impressed by Simone’s work and knowledge as a Mother Leader that she hired Simone to train her nanny on issues of health and nutrition. Not only was Simone able to train another woman in the community, but also received a paid job opportunity doing something that she felt passionate about.
Simone is a true example of the value Mother Leaders bring to their communities – and one of the many heroes that deserve recognition on today’s World Health Day. Along with our 1,500+ Mother Leaders in Haiti, Simone is improving her community’s access to consistent, safe and nutritious food, the foundation for life and good nutrition.
This World Health Day, join us in voicing your support for improving food security around the world by sharing this story and tweeting #WorldHealthDay and #SafeFood.
The Partners of the Americas Nutrition Security Program (NSP) is a $12 million initiative funded by the USAID Feed the Future Initiative – a U.S. Government effort to combat global hunger and food insecurity.