If anyone knows what it means to walk alongside #MomAndBaby to promote healthy living and reduce mortality rates in children under 5, it’s Alexia. She is 40 years old and a mother of five children. She and her husband, Joseph, are farmers in Burundi.
Five years ago, Alexia joined a World Relief-initiated Care Group, where she and other women would meet to discuss nutrition, hygiene and disease prevention to support the health of their children. Now, she is taking what she learned and teaching it to other vulnerable women in her community as a volunteer.
“I want to be an example for others,” said Alexia. She is one of nearly 90,000 volunteers trained every year by World Relief to deliver life-saving health education in their communities. This year, over 1.2 million mothers were impacted with education and skills to help their children not only survive beyond age 5, but live full, healthy and vibrant lives.
Alexia has big dreams for her own children, too. “I want my kids to be healthy. I want them to go to school, university and then to have a job. They can become teachers, doctors, or even farmers with land…”
Empowering women to properly care for vulnerable children doesn’t just affect a community’s physical well-being: it breaks down communication barriers and allows community members to rise up and care for one another in love. Since becoming a volunteer, Alexia says she has learned what it truly means to love others through the consistent prayer and the Biblical foundation of the groups. She used to avoid some people and households in her community. “Now,” she said, “I will go everywhere. I will discuss with anyone.”
Today, we celebrate America’s leadership in reducing child mortality around the world. However, we at World Relief know this wouldn’t be possible without women like Alexia who belong to the community and are empowered to STAND on their own.