Alemensh is a mother to 5 young children – the youngest is just 4 months old. She lives with her family in small house with a small garden.

When she was married off at just 16, there were times when she and her husband had no food to eat. For 3 or 4 years, they survived on eating ‘enset’, a local plant. It was even more difficult when they started to have children: Alemensh used to struggle to provide her family with the nutritional food they needed for healthy development.

Without the right nutrition, her children were at risk of malnutrition – which can result in irreversible and permanent damage such as stunted mental and physical growth.

When she was pregnant with her fifth child, she attended training delivered by The Hunger Project about nutrition for mothers, babies and young children. She learned about the importance of good nutrition for the first 1,000 days of a child’s life – from conception to the age of 2. She also learned about the importance of breastfeeding and eating fruit and vegetables.

The Hunger Project also delivered food demonstrations where Alemensh and other mothers learned how to prepare balanced meals with the right vitamins and minerals using locally available, nutritious produce.

In order to have more nutritious food available for her family, Alemensh took out a microfinance loan from The Hunger Project to buy a plot of land on which she grows vegetables for her family. Now that her baby is born, she exclusively breastfeeds her and will continue to do so until she is six months old.

Alemensh says, “After those six months, I will keep breastfeeding her, but I will give her additional food too, like a porridge made with milk, eggs, some vegetables and some chopped ‘enset’. If I can, I will also give her some fruit and avocado. My favourite meal is injera with vegetables in a sauce like tomatoes and boiled potatoes. Now that I breastfeed, I try to eat extra fruit and vegetables. I learned that during one of The Hunger Project’s workshops. For my older children, I prepare eggs and tomatoes in a sauce with beans and sometimes I prepare some meat.”

Alemensh is happy that her family has enough to eat. “We will not experience food shortages ever again!”, she says.