Faina Yamfashije, a mother of five with two children showing signs of stunting, is optimistic of reversing the situation thanks to a cow donated to her by the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame.
Yamfashije is among 12 recipients of the cows that the First Lady donated to vulnerable communities in Gakenke District in celebration of the Day of the African Child and World Day against Child Labour.
“I am extremely happy as I now own a cow for the first time in my life,” said Yamfashije, from Nemba Sector.
She said she couldn’t take good care of her twin children who suffer from stunting because she gave birth to another baby within a short period of time.
“It has never been easy for me to take care of those kids since I am vulnerable, that is when stunting set in, however with this cow my children will start getting milk.
“I will be able to practice modern farming thanks to the manure from my cow and will grow vegetables from the kitchen garden; hence I am very confident of eradicating stunting in my household.” Yamfashije noted.
According to the 2015 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), Gakenke has the second highest stunting rate of preventable stunting in children under five. It’s stunting rate stands at 46 per cent while Nyabihu, with most stunting cases in the country is at 59 per cent.
Deogratious Nzamwita, the Mayor of Gakenke District, echoed sentiments of the beneficiaries of the cows, stressing that their livelihoods were going to improve significantly.
Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi, the Governor of Northern Province, who handed over the cows on behalf of the First Lady, urged local officials to carry out regular follow-ups to ensure they know the day-to-day status of the cattle.
Figures from Northern Province indicate that over 63,000 cows have so far been given to vulnerable communities through various initiatives, such as Girinka.