YUM Indonesia’s transformative food initiatives in Cipanas, West Java, not only combat stunting but also bring an array of benefits that nourish the entire community. By focusing on providing nutritious, affordable, and easily accessible food, the organisation has become a catalyst for positive change in a country with some of the highest stunting rates in the world.
Dharma Care donors contributed AUD12,440 towards YUM’s Stunting Prevention Program in 2022. This article reports on the outcomes of that support.
There are multiple factors that cause stunting among children including poor nutrition, repeated infections, the lack of health services, and anemia. YUM Indonesia’s community kitchens have therefore emerged as a beacon of hope for families struggling with stunting. By offering delicious, nutrient-packed meals at affordable prices, these kitchens ensure that children and their families get the essential nutrients they need to grow and thrive. This access to healthy food enhances overall well-being, boosting immunity and vitality across the community.
To reduce the number of stunted children in West Java, YUM collaborated with 10 Posyandu in six villages and 49 women volunteer health workers (or kader). In total, close to 500 babies, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and kader have benefited directly from the program. And YUM and other organisations working in this field are having an impact. West Java’s stunting rate dropped from 24.5% in 2021 to 20.2% in 2022.
Moreover, YUM Indonesia’s partnership with local farmers has brought about a host of advantages. Through sustainable agricultural practices, farmers receive support and fair compensation, leading to improved economic conditions in the region. This, in turn, fosters a sense of empowerment and pride among farmers, contributing to a more resilient and prosperous community.
YUM Indonesia’s food initiatives in West Java have emerged as a powerful force for positive change, delivering a range of health and community benefits. Through their focus on providing nutritious, affordable, and easily accessible food, the organisation has become a driving force in combating stunting and improving overall well-being in the community.
Dharma Care’s approach is to partner with highly effective, in-country charities to create long lasting effects that ripple through communities and generations. This program is a good example of what can be achieved because there are many ongoing benefits from this program.
- Reduced Stunting: The most significant health benefit of YUM’s initiatives is the reduction of stunting among children. By offering nutrient-rich meals through community kitchens, children receive essential vitamins and minerals crucial for their growth and development. This decrease in stunting leads to healthier, stronger, and more resilient children in the community.
- Improved Nutrition: The accessibility of nutritious meals positively impacts the overall nutrition of community members. Adequate nutrition enhances immune systems, reducing the prevalence of illnesses and improving overall health. This, in turn, contributes to a more productive and vibrant community. YUM successfully distributed nutritional packages that included iron and folic acid supplement to a total of 172 pregnant mothers.
- Increased Awareness: YUM’s educational efforts play a pivotal role in increasing health awareness. Through workshops and awareness campaigns, families and individuals gain valuable knowledge about proper nutrition, healthy eating habits, and the importance of a balanced diet. This newfound awareness fosters a culture of wellness and proactive health practices within the community.
- Enhanced Economic Opportunities: YUM’s collaboration with local farmers bolsters the region’s economy by promoting sustainable agriculture. Supporting local farmers not only ensures a steady supply of fresh produce, but also empowers farmers with better livelihood opportunities. This economic boost contributes to the prosperity of the community as a whole.
- Social Cohesion: The communal aspect of YUM’s initiatives fosters social cohesion within the community. The presence of community kitchens and workshops creates opportunities for residents to come together, share experiences, and support each other. This social bonding strengthens community ties, promoting a sense of belonging and shared responsibility.
- Future Prosperity: By addressing stunting and malnutrition, YUM’s program lays the foundation for a prosperous future. Healthy and well-nourished children are more likely to excel academically, leading to a skilled and capable future workforce. This positive cycle of growth and development can pave the way for economic progress in the community.
- Role Model for Replication: YUM’s successful stunting prevention model serves as a beacon of hope for other communities facing similar challenges. The organization’s achievements inspire other regions to adopt similar approaches, amplifying the impact of combating stunting and improving health on a national scale.
YUM’s food initiatives therefore bring forth a host of key health and community benefits. By reducing stunting, improving nutrition, increasing awareness, enhancing economic opportunities, promoting social cohesion, and nurturing future prosperity, Dharma Care’s partnership with YUM is making a remarkable difference in Cipanas.
With their innovative, highly professional, and community-centered approach, YUM is setting an example for others to follow, paving the way for a healthier and thriving Indonesia. Of the 172 pregnant mothers, 100 babies were born during the project period. Data collected indicated that 46 % of the children were born normal above standard, 51% normal below standard and only 3% were stunted. YUM also recorded each child’s growth until they turned six months old and the results showed 47% of the children are normal above standard, 53% normal below standard and 0% stunted children. This is a remarkable outcome of which all our Dharma Care donors should be proud.
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Ibu DD, 33 years old, Community leader
“I was quite surprised and grateful at the same time when I was appointed to become one of the community leaders. Since I became a kader, I have participated in all the training that YUM has provided. I personally feel I have grown as a person, especially through public speaking—I have become more confident when speaking to a larger audience. This has become an important part in my life, especially since my work as a community leader requires me to meet a lot of people and deliver information around stunting prevention, such as how to live a healthy lifestyle. My hope is that the program for community leaders and other volunteer health workers will continue because there are so many who are still untrained, and I hope that they too can increase their knowledge like me. Thank you for your continued generous support so that we can ensure more women are trained in stunting prevention!”
Ibu ND, 27 years old, Pregnant mother
“I feel very lucky to have received support from the Stunting Program. Every month I received a food package during my monthly health check and I was also asked to join the health education workshop, and got two free haemoglobin level checks. I joined the program when I was four months pregnant and continued receiving support up to three months after delivery. This was my second pregnancy and totally different, I felt healthier, and my baby was born healthy. Thank you very much for the precious support.”
Ibu SS, 34 years old, Pregnant women,
“I had a great first impression when joining the stunting program. I received important health information, nutritional food packages and regular health checks. Unfortunately, my baby was born stunted. I felt awful but I never gave up and paid more attention in taking care of my son. Finally, when he was 3 months old, his nutritional status became normal and he is growing up to be a healthy baby. In April, he was nine months old and his height was 74.3 cm. The knowledge and skill that I got from the program was very helpful and useful.”