Promoting nutrition through the power of music in Namibia
The newly found Nutrition and Food Alliance Namibia (NAFSAN), supported by the SUN Movement Pooled Fund, works towards the goal of all children in Namibia being sufficiently well-nourished. Everyone should have the resources, knowledge and motivation to ensure food security and optimal nutritional status for themselves. This is critical as in Namibia, 1 out of 4 children are stunted in their growth and development and less than half of all newborns are exclusively breastfed in their first 5 months. But with proper understanding of the different aspects of nutrition and the role it plays in the various phases of life, positive change is possible. In order to advocate for the importance of sufficient nutrition, NAFSAN has secured the support of Namibia’s up and coming artist Kalux, winner of the 2018 Best Newcomer Award at the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs).
“I think we need to go out to the people and talk with them about nutrition. We need to take care of ourselves because health is key,” says Kalux, echoing the message of his nutrition themed song ‘Health is Key’ and showing how music and nutrition advocacy can go hand in hand.
Kalux is part of a nutrition advocacy campaign to establish a network of Nutrition Champions in Namibia. In addition to Kalux, NAFSAN has the backing of Miss Namibia 2019 Nadja Breytenbach for the campaign, who is voicing her support for exclusive breastfeeding. “I support mothers that breastfeed as long as possible”, emphasizes Nadja Breytenbach. “Breastfeeding your child for two years or longer will make your baby happier, stronger and smarter” she says, while also stressing that proper nutrition from pregnancy throughout childhood is essential for the growth and development of individuals and for Namibia as a nation.
Because health is key
To support this fight, Synergos Trust Namibia applied for SUN Movement Pooled Fund support in 2018 with their project aimed at raising awareness about nutrition and food security related matters and at establishing a Civil Society Alliance in Namibia. It successfully founded NAFSAN on 18 October 2019 as a national platform that brings together civil society, academia, private sector and committed individuals. NAFSAN’s constitution was signed in March 2020, and NAFSAN then also became an official member of the SUN Civil Society Network, particularly the East & Southern Africa Nutrition Civil Society Networks. Now, NAFSAN aims to work in a multi-sectoral approach at both national and subnational levels to create public awareness and political commitments for sustainable food security and optimal nutrition and to promote learning and innovation concerning nutrition.
NAFSAN highlights they need everyone to give their input and make their contributions to ensure that all Namibians are well informed, make the right choices and have plenty of healthy and nutritious food available. And their nutrition advocacy messages do exactly that.
They prove that sometimes you must think outside of the box to integrate nutrition messages into people’s daily life.
What is the SUN Movement Pooled Fund?
The SUN Movement Pooled Fund was established as a source for catalytic funding to support Multi-Stakeholder Platforms in SUN Countries to increase the effectiveness and impact of national efforts to end malnutrition in all its forms.
Hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and integrated within the broader SUN Movement stewardship arrangements, the Pooled Fund supports the delivery of the SUN Movement Strategy and Roadmap (2016-2020), particularly focusing on strengthening national nutrition governance, joint implementation of national multisectoral nutrition plans, and increased capabilities of nutrition actors at national and sub-national level.
Namibia is a grantee under its Window 1 call, aiming to develop in-country participation by non-state stakeholders in national multi-stakeholder platforms.