Fight against hunger

Gere is a village on the Flores island, one of the poorest in the Indonesian archipelago. Poverty is visible everywhere here, there are no factories nor companies and young people have to migrate to bigger islands to study or work. Just like in the rest of Indonesia, there is no national health care system. Malnutrition has always been among the most serious scourges on society; this is why in 2010 Camillians built a feeding centre in Bowaulong village, which could offer nutrition assistance to children with growth issues. The good results encouraged them to build another centre in Gere village in 2014. This is a very poor village in the mountains, not far from the town of Maumere and yet hardly reachable. The village’s population is made of around 1.000 families, 85% of which grow bananas, maize and vegetables. Inhabitants live in insecure houses made of bamboo, straw and coconut wood; the access to drinking water is limited and the lack of toilets facilitates the presence of insects such as mosquitos, which often bring malaria and other disease.

St. Camillus Feeding Centre is aimed at guaranteeing a proper nutrition program to 100 children aged a few months-10 years living in Gere. The centre also provides them with food, vitamins, supplements and basic drugs. Children are screened every 3 or 6 months in order to assess their malnutrition level and therefore schedule programs appropriate to each one of them.

As far as the children’s mothers are concerned, informative and educational meetings about the correct hygiene-health and nutrition practices. They are also taught how to cook nutritionally balanced meals with local products. Raising awareness on proper nutrition and a good hygienic daily routine helps prevent many diseases and disorders caused by dehydration and intestinal parasitosis. The centre offers meetings specifically focused on pregnant women as well.