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Week 5: Happy at home


Halima is playing at home. Photo by: Fardosa Hussein, Action Against Hunger Mogadishu, Somalia.

At home, Halima is in good health and is smiling and bubbly. She’s very happy to be playing with her toys again.

Fatuma is also cheerful, despite all she has been through. She says: “Halima is now learning how to walk. I think it’s never too late. She has been through a lot, but I’m making the necessary steps to teach her how to do everything. How to love, trust and be the playful and happy child that she was before. I am learning how to be patient with her, as I watch her slowly come back to normal. I am so happy to see her in her best state again.

Fatuma feeds Halima three packets of the Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food each day. After finishing this week’s supply, she will return to the Action Against Hunger centre to collect more. The therapeutic food is effective because it doesn’t need refrigerating, can be administered at home and is designed to help Halima put on weight quickly.

With all that Fatuma has endured, and the level of responsibility she bears in bringing her sick child back to health, she seems older than her years. “Sometimes I just feel like being a normal teenager – scrolling through my phone, sitting outside with the other mothers, chatting endlessly, and laughing – but…I have children. Two of them. Their lives revolve around me.”

Around the world, 2.3 million children under the age of five die every year because their diets lack the nutrition to keep them healthy and safe from preventable diseases. But if malnutrition is treated fast, a child has a chance at a healthy future.

This winter, please help us reach children suffering from life-threatening malnutrition. It takes an average of just six weeks of treatment to save a child’s life.