Using Care Groups to Build Resilience in Food Security and Community Health Programs
USING CARE GROUPS TO BUILD RESILIENCE IN FOOD SECURITY AND COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAMS
Tuesday, 19 November, 2013
Presenter: Alexandra Rutishauser-Perera, Roving East Africa Nutrition Advisor, International Medical Corps (IMC); Moderator: Bonnie Kittle, Independent Consultant, Kittle Consulting
A Care Group is a group of 10-15 volunteer, community-based health educators who regularly meet together with NGO project staff for training and supervision. Each of these volunteers then go out at least monthly to do health/nutrition/food security promotion with a small cohort of mothers of young children. They are different from typical mothers’ groups in that each volunteer is selected by the mothers she serves and is responsible for regularly visiting 10-15 of her neighbors, sharing what she has learned and facilitating behavior change at the household level.
Care Groups have shown remarkable success in achieving sustainable social and behavioral change, decreasing malnutrition and improving food security. During this session, participants were briefly introduced to the Care Group approach and the impact it can achieve, then worked in groups to define sustainability in behavior change and look at a ways of improving the sustainability of the group. There were presentations on concrete examples on how the Care Group model can improve resilience.