My name is Domingo Gimo. I’m 41 years old, and for the past ten years I’ve been a community health worker for the villages of Chicomphende, Carata, Nhampondo, Nhamigoma and Ndewe, all in the Changara district of Mozambique.
I was trained by Helen Keller International in the implementation of essential nutrition and hygiene actions like breastfeeding, hand-washing and complementary feeding, and ways to communicate the need to change behaviors. Helen Keller also provided me with a bicycle, which helps me get around the communities. Before, I used to walk up to 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from one village to another. Today I can reach more families in less time. On average, I help about 1,000 families each month. But this is not a lot when compared to the total populations of these villages.
My dream has been to reach many more of the vulnerable families who have limited access to basic health services, and this is starting to come true. In the villages of Chicomphende and Carata, we now work with 52 women who have been trained as lead mothers. I monitor their activities and give them support in their role as moderators of their communities’ Nutrition Group discussions. These groups meet regularly to discuss various ways that community members can adopt behaviors that promote better health and nutrition.
On a monthly basis, we can now reach between 2,900 and 3,600 families with information that improves and safeguards their health. We can listen carefully to their health- and nutrition-related problems. But best of all, we can help them with simple solutions that they can use right away and that bring about positive changes.