FAO in Egypt

Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security in Egypt.

A story of Soumaya in Aswan

Soumaya, a mother of three who lives in Aswan, heard about the Community Nutrition Kitchen for the first time from her best friend Nassra who is very socially active in her community – Edfu. Nassra was the community leader that FAO relied on to mobilize women and youth to participate in the Italian funded project “Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security in Egypt”.

One of the interventions was the Community Nutrition Kitchen where women learn how to prepare healthy meals and use traditional recipes that have been modified to have higher nutritional values. Nutrition messages adapted to the local context are shared in a friendly manner and through the participation of women, disseminated to families, relatives and neighbors.

Women also acquire knowledge on meal planning and budgeting and food storage strategies in a participatory way. Moreover, women gain hands-on knowledge of home processing techniques, food safety and healthy diets using the fruits and vegetables harvested from the field or grown in the backyard.

Soumaya participated in more than 30 training sessions on nutritious cooking and food processing. She has been applying what she learned. She likes baking especially desserts. Soumaya uses the nutritional tips that she learned and produces healthy bakery products as well as teaches what she has learnt to her relatives and neighbors, especially newly wedded brides and young girls who are about to get married.

Her son shared her bakes with his friends at school. Having liked them very much, they asked him to get more. This inspired Soumaya to make this a business. Then she shied away from the idea because her son felt that it would not be appropriate. Nevertheless, Soumaya still intends to do some sort of business. “I feel proud of the knowledge I now have and wish to be able to help all the young women in Aswan,” said Soumaya confidently.

The project on “Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security for women and youth in Egypt” is implemented by FAO Egypt and funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.

Source: Near East and North Africa Gender Newsletter - March 2020 — Issue #2

Contact: Rawya Eldabi, Communication Expert, FAO Egypt