During the 2015 “Women’s Health and Leadership Conference” in Leo (April 27-30), women from around the country were invited to learn how to become agents of change for their communities. Since malnutrition is a common health issue in many villages, the women learned about proper nutrition and then were able to apply their new knowledge with a To sauce competition. To test their knowledge, teams had to first complete a “House of Good Nutrition” activity by grouping foods into their proper categories. The team that did not make any mistakes was the first to be able to go to the “market” that was set up for them. Each team was given 750 CFA of imaginary money and had to decide together how they would use their money and what ingredients they should buy. Teams were graded on their cleanliness, teamwork, taste and nutritional value of their sauces.
Teams that discussed what they wanted to buy beforehand and those who bargained for the products received an extra point. All aspects of cleanliness were monitored, such as if the women washed their marmites, vegetables and utensils and if they placed pot lids top down when not in use. During the lesson, the women learned about the importance of vitamins and that if vegetables are overcooked they lose some of their nutritional value; Teams that finished the activity earlier were given an additional point. Only one team lost a point for not including all three food groups in the dish. In the end, the teams cooked up delicious okra, peanut and tomato sauces. They were able to earn points for defending their decisions and explaining their process. All teams were given an extra point for their participation and good nature since cooking and eating should be enjoyable. The “To” sauce competition is a great interactive way to apply nutrition concepts at home. The women gained an understanding of why certain practices are important and also how easy they are to apply.
By Volunteer Leanne demery