A series of four Parenting and Nutrition trainings were held at Christ of Hope Church in Thmor Keo Village, Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia. Twelve participants from five nearby villages were invited to attend the training sessions.
At the first training in November 2014, CWEF staff gave Pastor Heng Kimhai and the nine participants a pre-knowledge survey. Participants were given 30 minutes to complete the survey. Then CWEF staff led a short devotion about God’s love for all people based on John 3:16.
The remainder of the first training focused on breastfeeding and weaning, healthy eating and safe food preparation. None of the participants had attended any type of nutrition and parenting training before; all of their previous nutrition and parenting knowledge came from television shows and knowledge passed down from family members. Before the end of the training, all participants worked together with the CWEF trainers to conduct practice household surveys to prepare them for doing household visits on their own in the weeks to come.
The second training in January 2015 began with CWEF staff leading a devotion based on 1 Corinthians 3:16. After reviewing content from the first training, we continued with lessons on the importance of fruits and vegetables for children and continued teaching on healthy eating. After the lessons, the participants formed three groups to prepare porridge with vegetable and meat.
At the third training in April 2015, CWEF staff started with a short devotion on Genesis 35:16-19. The lessons during the third training focused on family planning, the value of education and health education and major health issues. Participants also returned 46 completed household baseline surveys to CWEF staff.
In May 2015, the final training covered topics such as the growth of children, parenting infants and toddlers and the importance of play. CWEF staff conducted a post-training knowledge survey to see how much the participants understood and remembered from the trainings. Four of the participants showed high levels of understanding and were chosen as parenting and nutrition advocates to pass on what they had learned to others in their home communities. Finally, participants received parenting and nutrition training certificates, and returned 51 completed follow-up household surveys.
The training group faced a number of challenges, including finding appropriate times for all the trainees and overcoming the illiteracy of a small number of people in the group. Despite the challenges, the Parenting & Nutrition project at Thmor Keo village made it possible for the participants to gain new knowledge and to be inspired to pass on what they had learned for the benefit of their families, friends and neighbors. Also, many of the villagers were curious why the participants joined the trainings again and again. It was a good opportunity for participants to share the Gospel — and their new health knowledge — with their neighbors.