Shelves in Australian stores are flooded with superfood powders and activated all sorts of things, so it can be easy to forget that some parts of the world struggle with even achieving a very basic level of nutrition, due to things like limited resources and a lack of health education.
That’s why Cotton On Body x Cotton On Foundation have developed Nutrition Mission, a course for women and families in Southern Uganda, which gives them the knowledge and tools to boost their nutrition and prevent undernourishment.
This month (September), proceeds from Cotton On Foundation products sold in Cotton On Body stores will help fund the program – Cotton On receives no profit from the sale of these products, and they aim to raise $100,000.
We talk to Nutrition Mission ambassador, nutritionist and cookbook author Jessica Sepel, about the program…
1. What’s Nutrition Mission all about?
“The eight-week, practical program educates women on how to prepare and cook nourishing foods for themselves and their families. And that’s what I love about it – it’s taking the message of nutrition to women who need it most and empowering them to make positive change.”
2. Why did you want to be involved?
“Nutrition is close to my heart and I enjoy creating healthy recipes, but what I love most is being able to use my knowledge to create positive change. I’ve worked with Cotton On Body and the Cotton On Foundation to create simple, nutritious recipes, using produce and equipment readily available to families in Uganda. And my role here in Australia is to encourage as many people as possible to get behind the cause. Since the first Nutrition Mission class in January 2015, 460 participants have graduated from the program in Busibo, Southern Uganda. And the results have been incredible.”
3. Why is it so important for women in Southern Uganda, specifically, to get this type of education?
“In Southern Uganda, women not only have limited access to food sources, but also lack the basic nutrition knowledge the majority of us were taught at an early age and throughout our lives, and often take for granted. Malnutrition is particularly dangerous for women and is all too common in developing countries. Not only does it weaken a woman’s ability to survive childbirth, it makes her more susceptible to infection and makes recovery from illness more difficult. This is why it’s so important for women to be armed with the knowledge and resources to ensure a food-secure home and be taught skills necessary to feed themselves and their families nutritious meals.”
4. What are some of the most important nutrition messages you want the women to learn, and why?
“The aim is to ensure all women participating leave with the skills and resources to teach fellow community members the skills they’ve learnt, including how to grow and maintain their own vegetable gardens and start up their own income streams through growing and selling produce. It doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are, everyone deserves access to healthy food and education around its life-changing properties.”
For more info head to Cotton On Body.