PowerChildrenA key component of KareMeKuc’s agricultural training program is nutrition. The crops that participants will be growing have been chosen in partnership with Dr. Janis Lochner, a nutrition professor at Lewis & Clark College, and a Ugandan agriculturist. Nutrition profiles of Uganda have found vitamin A deficiency, anemia, and kwashiorkor disease pose severe public health problems for women and children.

Kwashiorkor disease (protein-energy malnutrition or PEM) is a severe form of malnutrition that results from a diet lacking protein and other essential nutrients. Individuals with kwashiorkor disease often develop an enlarged tummy that looks like a pot belly and stunted growth. Kwashiorkor disease is not prevalent in developed countries because it is easily prevented with proper nutrition and quantity of food.

Diabetes, often thought of as a Western disease of wealth and overeating, is on the rise in Uganda. Recently, one of Children of Peace Uganda’s beneficiaries died due to diabetes-related complications. Countless studies and ongoing research show that Type 2 Diabetes is largely preventable through diet modification and education. These regional nutritional deficiencies can be combated and often prevented with addition of foods rich in protein, iron, and vitamin A, as well as education about alternatives and complements to starchy grains.

KareMeKuc will provide a nutrition education segment focusing on how to properly grow beans, cowpeas, pigeon peas, ground nuts, and leafy greens that are traditionally found in Northern Uganda. This program will help promote the production and intake of vitamin A and iron-rich foods. By providing educational and vocational resources to vulnerable children and young adults, we hope to inspire a new generation of leaders to initiate a transition away from reliance on plantain and maize in the diet of Ugandans.

For additional information about the nutritional deficiencies discussed above please see the resources listed below:

Kikafunda, Joyce Kakuramatsi. “Nutrition Country Profile: The Republic of Uganda.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2010.

Kyatusiimire, Sharon. “Diabetes on the Rise in Uganda.” East African Business Week. 10 Jan. 2015. 

Hu, Frank B. “Globalization of Diabetes: The role of diet, lifestyle, and genes.” Diabetes Care 34.6 (2011): 1249-257.

Latham, Michael C. “Part III. Disorders of Malnutrition.” Human Nutrition in the Developing World. Food and Nutrition Series no. 29. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations., 1997. 

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