Phase 2 / Relief
“My vision is a society where there is always good food on the table available to everyone”. – Clement Summerton, Projects Manager
Malnutrition refers to when a person’s diet does not provide enough nutrients or the right balance of nutrients to support good health. The term ecompasses 3 groups of conditions: undernutrition, micronutrient-related malnutrition and overnutrition.
The types and levels of malnutrition that may be present in each South African community differs. Applying a standard model to differing contexts is, therefore, ineffective for addressing malnutrition. This is where our Assessment Phase comes in.
The Assessment Phase provides us with a mechanism for identifying the physical health challenges and needs that each community faces, which enables us to determine the appropriate course of action to address their challenges and needs.
At Operation Hunger, we understand the key role that relief plays in the fight against malnutrition.
We, therefore, provide access to healthy and nutritious food by means of immediate relief. Our approach to relief relies heavily on the effectiveness of the Assessment Phase and can vary based on the community, environment, findings of the assessment, resources, etc. We are very adaptive in our approach to relief, which has in the past included: soup kitchens, household distributions and more recently food parcels as a part of our Feed a Family campaign. This being said, we do not regard relief as a solution, but rather a key short-term phase in the “nutrition first” ethos we carry towards the outcome of sustainability.
The most important role of the Relief Phase is providing urgent relief for communities suffering with severe malnutrition.
In addition to this, the Relief Phase provides several other benefits. It goes without saying that relief supports the physical and mental well-being of the beneficiary communities. It improves the learning ability of children and youth at school. It decreases disruptive behaviour of children in schools and the community at large. And it provides a helpful guideline that teaches the community healthy eating habits, which can lead to long-term dietary behavioural change. Lastly, the Relief Phase serves as an opportunity to show the beneficiary communities that their community cares.