Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nutrition Drama

Community drama is one way to spread the word about the importance of good nutrition early in life. So 3 nutrition dramas were commissioned and performed in Bundibugyo District in January, 2007, in the villages of Busunga, Butama, and Buganikere. The main themes of the drama were that good nutrition early in life can help children grow and develop well, ultimately contributing to their success in life, and that one does not have to be wealthy to provide healthy foods for family members. The plot was outlined by 3 Ugandan friends, and details were added by the Bubandi Youth Drama Group, commissioned to perform the dramas. The drama follows 2 families: a rich man’s family and a poor man’s family. The rich man does not go to the maternity ward with his pregnant wife, does not help her with chores when she is pregnant, and spends his resources on things like nice clothes and a motorcycle. The poor man goes to the maternity ward with his wife, humbly helps with chores especially when she is pregnant, and pours a lot into thinking about and providing healthy foods to feed his family, mostly from his garden. There is an emphasis on the following messages:
-Breast milk is really good for children.
-Children (and adults!) need some food from 3 different food groups at each meal. The groups are body building foods (soybeans, groundnuts, eggs, meat, fish), energy providing foods (yams, rice, cassava), and protective foods (papaya, oranges, local greens).
-Hygiene is important.
-Plant-based protein sources are healthy and inexpensive; one does not have to eat meat to be healthy.

One of my favorite parts of the drama is the beginning, when the group sings, dances, and drums to draw a crowd! The group's energy and love for what they are doing is really contagious!

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