Food security (FS) suggests that persons, families, and communities can easily access the necessary nutritional sources of energy that furnish physical well-being. Innovative FS interventions also advance capacities for resilience in behaviors during unforeseen incidents of shortages in fuel, drought, conflict and war, displacement and migration of people, and socio-economic instability or poverty.
In Uganda, Salama SHIELD Foundation (SSF) staff identify families that are experiencing nutritional risk. We provide them with chickens (kroilers) that produce eggs. In addition, SSF encourages the construction of kitchen gardens where vulnerable families can grow avocado, mango, oranges, and even cassava gardens and sweet potatoes. Training in the building of energy–saving stoves is also a part of our nutrition and FS program, thereby protecting the environment and saving monies in food preparation.
Our goat program is two-pronged: it provides humanitarian relief for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs), but also trains vulnerable youth and families in animal husbandry towards income generating activities (IGAs). Community leaders identify vulnerable families requiring support – i.e., persons who show promise of being effective livestock care-takers. In general, the recipients are youth/child-headed households. Goats (male and female) create a host of benefits for caretakers, including nutritional support, income generation, and the development of animal husbandry and entrepreneurial skills. Donated goats can be bred to double their impact and benefit to economically-compromised households: their milk can provide nourishment or they can become a business venture, where individual goats and their offspring can be sold. Profits that result from caring for goats can strengthen food security in the home: they also permit the payment of school fees, purchase of household items, payment of medical bills, and purchase of clothing. Importantly, good nutrition is essential in adhering to and supporting anti-retroviral (ART) therapies.
Nutritional programs reduce poverty, lead to better health, and have created more sustainable experiences of well-being, and worthwhileness within the community.