Scaling Up Nutrition Phase II: Voices of the Beneficiaries

A global movement to help countries overcome malnutrition and stunting

Mainza Kawanu and Maria Nabatanzi
Miriam Mwanza (43 yrs)grows soya beans, miles and cow peas. mother of 5 children. All her children are healthy, well and strong
UNICEF/UN0663907/Schermbrucker
08 August 2022

Zambia has made progress on reducing stunting over the past decade, but it remains a challenge. 35 per cent of children are stunted at five years old (ZDHS 2018), the third highest rate of stunting in the southern Africa region (World Bank 2018). Childhood stunting is an irreversible outcome of growth failure in the first 1000 days of life, from pregnancy through to a child’s second birthday. Stunting is a result of chronic malnutrition.

In response to high stunting prevalence globally, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN), a global movement, was formed to help countries overcome malnutrition and stunting. Zambia was among the early adopters, joining the movement in 2010 to implement a programme focusing on the reduction of stunting.

The SUN II programme is a 4-year initiative supporting MCDP II led by UNICEF in partnership with the National Food and Nutrition Commission, line ministries, other UN agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The programme is generously supported by the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany through KFW Development Bank, the Swedish international development cooperation agency (Sida) and UK aid from the British people. SUN II provides a package of interventions in communities that adopt multiple approaches to delivering services to households in 17 districts of Zambia.

Frachel Phiri
UNICEF/Zambia/2022/Schermbrucker
Frachel Phiri, 35 years old mother with a 3week old baby Wiseman. Frachel is a beneficiary of a chicken livestock pass on scheme in Chipata District, Eastern Province.

“The Scaling Up Nutrition Phase 2 (SUN II) Programme has helped me and especially my children a lot. When I was pregnant, I was able to eat a lot of eggs which was good for the baby and me as the proteins kept us both strong and healthy. I delivered a healthy baby boy; his name is Wiseman. It feels so good to be able to provide for my own family - my children are strong and even more energetic than me! We are all well and healthy and I am thankful.”

Frachel Phiri
Roxina Mwanza (27) –a member of Mutenguleni Savings Group in Chipata District, Eastern Province.
UNICEF/Zambia/2022/Schermbrucker
Roxina Mwanza (27) –a member of Mutenguleni Savings Group in Chipata District, Eastern Province.

“I bought 300 chickens with the cash. It cost me 4,000 Kwacha. It would not have been possible without the savings group. I have been able to multiply the money - first save the money and then invest it. Facilitators under the Scaling Up Nutrition Phase 2 (SUN II) programme came to our community and taught us how to set up the savings group. The group is three years old now. My dream is to use the money I am going to make from chicken farming to build a house. I want to build a mansion in the village.”

Roxina Mwanza.
Namukolo Nyambe (28) – Nutrition Support Group Volunteer delivering a nutrition lesson to a household in Mongu District, Western Province.
UNICEF/Zambia/2022/Schermbrucker
Namukolo Nyambe (28) – Nutrition Support Group Volunteer delivering a nutrition lesson to a household in Mongu District, Western Province.

“I love being a Nutrition Support Group volunteer. I am learning a lot and get to teach what I learn so everyone enjoys the benefits. I teach the importance of nutrition and how to avoid malnutrition and stunting by eating balanced meals using foods we can produce locally. I have been working as a volunteer for two months now and it is an enriching experience.”

Namukolo Nyambe
Through the SUN program the farmers are taught how to look after the livestock before they receive it. The Mbekise group was started in 2015, one of the first wards recognised for scaling up nutrition.
UNICEF/Zambia/2022/Schermbrucker
Through the SUN program the farmers are taught how to look after the livestock before they receive it. The Mbekise group was started in 2015, one of the first wards recognised for scaling up nutrition.

“Through SUN I received 1 goat and I now have 8 goats. I use the money from selling the goats to pay for school fees and food. From SUN I have learned about keyhole farming and also how to make manure and to feed my children a healthy diet. I benefited from the program because I used to think that only “city” people would be able to feed their babies well but now I have learned how to prepare locally made food, and I can feed my children equally well and make them feel good.”

Nobuto Sibyl
Beauty Lungu (40 yrs) has 5 children, She farms mielies, soya beans, ground beans and orange sweet potatoes
UNICEF/Zambia/2022/Schermbrucker
Beauty Lungu (40 yrs) has 5 children, She farms mielies, soya beans, ground beans and orange sweet potatoes

“I like farming because I can sell some of my crop to make money and I can keep the rest to feed my family. My children always have food to eat and they are growing strong and healthy. I have learned new ways of preparing nutritional food for my family which I didn’t know before. I learned that you can extract milk from soya beans. Being a farmer is sometimes difficult - you cannot control the elements like rain, drought and changing weather patterns.” 

Beauty Lungu