EU-UNICEF Media training on Nutrition kicks off in Adama

By Frehiwot Yilma

UNICEF Media Training on Nutrition held at Adama from Monday 24 February to 28 February 2014 at Tokuma Hotel  given by Lambadina.
©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Sewunet

UNICEF, with the financial support of the European Union, kicked off a media training on nutrition for around 70 journalists of government and private media from all regions on 24 February 2014. The training is implemented by Lambadina Institute of Health and Development Communication. The first five day training is taking place this week in Adama with 25 journalists from Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa and the Oromia and Somali regions. The focus of the training is on the revised National Nutrition Programme, launched in June 2013. The revised National Nutrition Programme aims to strengthen multi-sectoral coordination, follow the life-cycle approach and reinforces stunting reduction through focusing on the 1,000 days of a mother’s pregnancy to the child’s second birthday. Importantly, the guide – which was launched in June 2013, is aligned with the reporting of the Fourth Heath Sector Development Programme (HSDP IV) and the Millennium Development Goals-2015.

It will provide a wider perspective on nutrition from the traditional coverage on nutrition that is geared towards only addressing malnutrition through the health sector.  It comes at the right time when the Government of Ethiopia has made nutrition a priority for development with the revision of the National Nutrition Programme in June last year. The nutrition agenda has also received special attention from the First Lady of Ethiopia, Roman Tesfaye, who has committed to be the champion of nutrition.

Trainee (left) interviews Hawi Lemma (pregnant) about Pregnancy and Nutrition ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Fasil

The multi sectoral approach taken by the Government in addressing topics like nutrition, health, education and agriculture will also be addressed in the training. One sector cannot achieve its goals alone. For example, the nutrition sector cannot achieve reducing malnutrition without the provision of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services that improve the access to clean water for the preparation and intake of food that will also help in reducing diahorrea.  Therefore, development partners, including the media has to focus on what different sectors are contributing to achieve nutrition goals of both the Growth and Transformation Plan as well as the Millennium Development Goals.

During the five days training coordinated by Lambadina Institute of Health and Development Communication, participants will add to the existing knowledge of journalists on how to portray and depict nutrition practices and behaviours to inform the society, health practitioners and policy makers. They will also be exposed to the new technology with social media to expand their reach of audience. In addition, they will discuss their challenges in reporting on nutrition as well as their role in moving the nutrition agenda forward.

Learning Interview Process on Nutrition at Tokuma Hotel
Learning Interview Process on Nutrition at Tokuma Hotel ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Fasil

As part of the training the media practitioners will see first-hand how the Government of Ethiopia with the support of UNICEF and other partners is operating at the woreda and kebele and make a difference in the lives of women and children in Ethiopia.  The training participants will visit Boset woreda and see how the woreda administrators, health posts, health extension workers and the community itself are collaborating to support nutrition activities.

With the platform opened for journalist to meet from different regions, they are expected to work more closely, share their experiences of different regions and build networks among each other. At the end of the training journalists are expected to create a platform to further engage and advocate for good nutrition in Ethiopia.  The next trainings will be given in Hawassa, Mekelle and Bahirdar.

UNICEF Ethiopia wishes a joyful, peaceful and charitable holiday!

Season’s greetings from Acting UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia Patrizia Di Giovanni.

Read her full message below.

 UNICEF wishes a joyful, peaceful and charitable holiday season! 

At this time of year, let us not forget the children who are in desperate need for food, shelter, and other basic necessities; boys and girls, who are not able to attend school, whatever the reason may be; children, who have been neglected, discriminated, orphaned, abused and violated of their rights.

Let us reach out to them and give a helping hand- it does not have to be something big or we do not have to go far- we can start with our families and neighbours.

A small gesture can make a huge impact on someone’s life.

Let’s open our hearts and our homes to those that are vulnerable and in need of support, wherever they are.

Happy Holidays!

‘Melkam Ye’gena Beal!’

‘I have 29 children’: The ‘mothers’ to Ethiopia’s most vulnerable kids


The group, whose name translates as “Light from the stars,” works with other civil society organizations on projects such as renovating an early childhood development center, where children are taught Amharic and English.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (CNN) — On the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the dusty crowded neighbourhood of Akaki, I’ve just been treated to a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. The beans are roasted and the coffee boiled in front of you then served piping hot with a heaping spoonful of sugar and a side of freshly popped corn.

As I step out onto the dirt road to leave, one of my hosts wants to ask a question: do I know anyone who can donate some wheelchairs, so adults don’t’ have to carry disabled children on their backs to school any more?

I wish I did.

The woman who needs the wheelchairs is one of the 20,000 volunteers for Yekokeb Berhan, a USAID-funded program trying to help half a million highly vulnerable children. The name means “Light from the Stars” in Amharic, and is meant to reflect the resiliency of children.

After spending a week working with the volunteers here, I have no doubt those wheelchairs are going to find their way, due to the resiliency of the adults.

Yekokeb Berhan volunteers are chosen by community committees and given training in health, parenting, budgeting and life skills. Then they go out into communities, to find and identify the most vulnerable children. Each volunteer will take in 25 of those kids as her own.

“I have 29 children” says Sintayehu Kenna, a mother of four (plus 25), “I can’t separate them from my own. I love them. ”

The program’s philosophy is that the way to help children is to help their families. More often than not, assistance is needed in multiple areas — and that means these volunteers have had to become master networkers — calling on friends, family, neighbours, local businessmen and faith leaders to get the kids what they need. Read more on CNN