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Kenya, 5 December 2016: Through the Lens of a Child: Children participate in a photography workshop to highlight malnutrition

NAIROBI, Kenya, 5 December 2016 – The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Kenya Primary Schools Head teachers Association (KEPSHA), the European Union (EU) and UNICEF today open a five-day children’s photography workshop at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi.

Thirty children selected from Kenya’s children’s government in 14 counties, including counties in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL), will be participating in this workshop as part of the UNICEF-supported government Maternal and Child Nutrition programme. This programme is supported financially by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), USAID and the EU, and aims to improve nutrition outcomes in the arid and semi-arid counties.

During the workshop, the children will be trained on how to capture exhibition-quality photographs by internationally renowned photographer, Giacomo Pirozzi. Through their photographs, they will share their unique views on nutrition in their communities. Later in 2017, the photographs will be mounted on a mobile exhibition which will travel around the country, including to the 14 counties where the children are from, as part of an advocacy venture highlighting malnutrition in Kenya and how it is being addressed.

Malnutrition is a major public health concern in Kenya. Stunting levels are as high as 26 per cent in Kenya. Ms Gladys Mugambi from the Ministry of Health says, “In other words, one in four children in Kenya under the age of five years are growing up too short for their age and are not reaching their full cognitive potential. This is not only an unfortunate loss for these children, but it also has negative implications for our country’s development.”

One of the major challenges remains addressing the chronic food and nutrition crises in especially the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya. According to Steve Wathome of the EU, “Acute malnutrition continues to be a persistent problem in Sub-Saharan Africa whose causes are diverse, and subsequently we need to adopt multidimensional/multisectoral strategies in order to combat this problem.”

Under the Maternal and Child Nutrition programme, government partners, UN and civil society work together to strengthen health systems and to empower communities, particularly women. This involves assisting mothers to adopt healthier practices such as exclusive breastfeeding; the preparation of diversified and age-appropriate infant feeding practices; better hygiene; and better uptake of treatment for common childhood illnesses.

Interventions are focusing on preventing and treating malnutrition during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, as after that time, the resulting cognitive and physical damage is irreversible. Such nutrition-related topics will be captured in the photographs taken by the children during the workshop.

Since 2005, UNICEF has held photography workshops for children in countries around the world to express and to participate in decisions that affect their lives, says UNICEF Nutrition Chief, Grainne Mairead Moloney. “This workshop in particular is giving an opportunity to a diverse group of children – including children who are amongst the most vulnerable and excluded – to share their views on nutrition.”

Through this workshop, children have a platform to advocate for every child in Kenya to enjoy good nutrition so they can also grow and learn, to participate in and contribute to their communities.

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For media enquiries only, please contact:

European Union Kenya, Beatrice Hongo, Press and Information Section, EU Delegation to Kenya, Union House, Tel: + 2542802000, http://ec.europa.eu/delegations/kenya/index_en.htm, Twitter: @EUinKenya

UNICEF Kenya, Daniel Oloo, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Kenya, Tel: + 254 722 416551, Email: doloo@unicef.org, www.unicef.org/kenya Twitter: @UNICEFKenya

UNICEF Kenya, Daisy Serem, Communication Officer, Tel: +254 704 874564, Email: dserem@unicef.org

 

 
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