Written by MANA staff, www.mananutrition.org
Last Sunday, Sept. 25, we at MANA Nutrition were honored to be a part of Charlotte’s Forest Hill Church’s global missions program as they hosted the president of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, and pledged 100 boxes of MANA RUTF to the African nation, one of the poorest countries in the world.
The president’s visit came in the midst of the church’s program to aid Burundi in its efforts of reconciliation and peace after a 15-year civil war that ended in 2005. Forest Hill’s primary effort is to establish a Reconciliation Center in the capital city of Bujmbura that will provide leadership resources for pastors, civil officials, educators, women and children.
Last Sunday, President Nkurunziza addressed the congregation at Forest Hill’s Southpark location on the tumultuous history of Burundi and his own reliance on God. After hearing what the nation is currently doing to improve the lives of its citizens, the church announced a pledge of 15,000 MANA RUTF packets to Burundi, enough to provide 100 children with life-saving, six-week treatments. In addition to this support, each family in the congregation was given a packet of MANA RUTF that Sunday to promote awareness of global needs.
RUTF stands for Ready to Use Therapeutic Food, and it’s been designed specifically to treat kids diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). RUTF can be broadly defined as peanut butter mixed with fortified milk in an over-sized ketchup packet.
A child diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition can be – literally – on the brink of death. On average, three packets a day for six weeks will revive a child, getting him or her back to normal nutritive levels, healthy, responsive and happy. Better yet, the RUTF track record is such that kids who have been “nursed” back to health from a SAM state rarely fall back into that state again. In other words, when they’re back, they’re back for good!
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