Local Partner Profile: Community Association for Salvation and Environment
In rural and remote areas of Northern Laos, many women have difficulty accessing maternal health, adequate nutrition, and access to routine immunisations. Unfortunately, these issues of access are all too common, with little work being done in remote areas to solve these issues.
The Community Association for Salvation and Environment is working in partnership with ChildFund in Laos to implement the Integrated Nutrition for Growth (IN4G) project to ensure that everyone in the community can access healthy food and maternal health.
“The goal of this program is to provide a supportive environment for our community members so they can overcome whatever obstacles they may face. We recruited village volunteers and trained them on SBCC, and they will be able to transfer the knowledge to people in their community,” said Tiet a Project Officer at CASE.
Volunteers were split into two groups. The first group educated the community about health and hygiene. The volunteers encouraged people to keep their living spaces clean, understand waste segregation, shared information on illnesses that may come with dirty environments, and educated the community about the importance of routine immunisations for their children.
The second group educated pregnant women about their nutritional needs, both during and after pregnancy. They encouraged new mothers to register for regular health check-ups at their local hospital and to give birth there, rather than at home. These volunteers provided long-term support to new mothers for 1,000 days after their birth to support them in raising healthy children.
Tiet has been working on this project for one year and has found that more people in the community are now more aware of nutrition and health during and after pregnancy. They have also become more engaged in making changes to better protect themselves and their families.
“The obvious result is that more pregnant women go to the hospital to have antenatal care and give birth there. The school lunch program has also changed a lot over the last year. In the past, children brought only plain rice to school for their lunch. But now after parents have been educated about health and nutrition, they prepare their kids more nutrition food. Children bring rice with meats, vegetable, and season fruit to school for their lunch.”
In the future, Tiet wants to reach more communities that are facing similar maternal health and work with local partners improve access to health care and nutrition information.
“The partnership with ChildFund in Laos has been a game-changer for our community. We’re working for a better living and sustainable for our community by focusing on hygiene, environment, waste segregation, health, and nutrition. These are crucial issues that we have worked hard to address as a partnership with ChildFund.”
Community Association for Salvation and Environment (CASE) is a community-based association that provides services to the public. They are dedicated to the welfare of children in their community and work with other organizations to provide resources and support for them.