“My name is Anjela, and I am 29 years old. I have lived on Tanah Masa all my life. It’s not easy being a mother here. I have been pregnant many times, but my pregnancies have been followed by sadness instead of joy. When I lost my first child, I cried all the time.
When I lost my second child, I stopped going to church. When I lost my third child I started praying again. I still ask God was it my fault that he did this to me?
When my fourth child got sick, I went to a nurse in the village, and even to a shaman, but my child didn’t get well. It wasn’t until Tearfund’s partner came to my village and took care of my child that my child got better.
A lack of health and nutrition awareness and reliance on sometimes unhelpful ancestral beliefs can increase the impact poverty has on vulnerable people. Isolation from the outside world due to geography and infrastructure (phone, internet access) means unhealthy superstitions and traditions such as feeding babies a mixture of water and rice instead of breast milk are not challenged, and mistaken beliefs become the foundation for whole communities’ understanding of health and self-care.
Our partners work alongside these vulnerable communities to educate and empower local people to take control of their own health, improve their access to formal healthcare, and open the door to a better future for their children.