Good food makes for healthy children at NPH Haiti

Raising healthy children is hard in a country or family plagued by poverty. At NPH, children are free to learn, play, and grow as they should, without worry for their health, nutrition, and other critical needs.

Beating price rises with home-grown food

Economic instability has greatly increased the price of food in Haiti. This makes the agricultural programme at NPH Haiti more important than ever. Among the most expensive items are rice, beans, herring, oil, meat, some vegetables, and milk—especially milk-based formula for babies. On our farm, we grow vegetables that are otherwise too expensive because of rising prices.

Feeding thousands in homes and communities

At NPH Haiti, we provide food for the hundreds of children and young adults living in our remote homes, like St. Helene, St. Anne, and St. Simon. We also provide meals 3 times a day for those who live onsite. Additionally, we provide daily lunch for the nearly 1,000 students from our neighbouring communities who attend our school, as well as meals for employees who staff our schools, homes, and other programmes.

Free education and healthcare make the difference

After 27 years’ experience with NPH, Dr Rachel FanFant really understands the difference that NPH makes to Haiti. She loves working at NPH for all it does for the poor and vulnerable children and families in Haiti. She says 2 of the areas where NPH makes the biggest impact on the country are the free education and healthcare we provide to our children, as well as the high-quality 24-hour medical services that are offered to anyone who comes to our door in need.

Dr FanFant points out the challenge of addressing the wide-ranging medical needs of children at NPH. They range from kids with no medical problems at all to children who have heart disease, sickle cell anaemia, or immunodeficiency complications.

She identifies our robust nutrition programme as one of the main reasons children living at NPH do not suffer the malnutrition otherwise common throughout the country. Not only do we have healthy food available, but we also have it in a variety of recipes to help ensure that children have plenty of options to keep their stomachs full.

Children visiting farm
Children visiting the NPH farm

Typical meals prepared by our kitchens include rice, chicken, corn or beans, with tasty sauces to liven up the flavour. Occasionally, meals also contain fish, aubergine, cheese, stewed vegetables or soups.

Milk is served every day, which is essential to ensuring healthy growth for all of our children. We also have special programmes and diets for children who arrive underweight.

Strong emphasis on healthy diet

Dr FanFant is a regular visitor at the kitchen and the clinic to check that dietary needs are met. “I talk with the medical care programme at the clinic once every other month. And if we find there is a meal that children consistently don’t eat, we find a way to replace it with a new dish.” The emphasis on full, healthy diets goes a long way, especially in a country where 1 out of every 3 children suffers from chronic malnutrition. Less than 50 percent of households have access to safe water and only 25 percent have adequate sanitation. One-third of Haitian children and women are anaemic. But thanks to your support and the hard work of our staff, NPH Haiti is able to do everything it can to ensure that the children in our care grow up healthy and optimistic, free to focus more on their studies, family, and building a brighter future.