I Am Amos

Felicia Mensah cultivating OFSP with baby Amos on her back.

I am Amos and I am 8 months old, and you see me in this picture riding on my mother’s back, as she weeds and cultivates the orange fleshed sweet potatoes she is growing for me to be sure my body can make enough Vitamin A as breast feeding decreases, as I approach my first birthday.  


The Self-Help International Program for Growing Food, Growing Children supplies my Mom with the dry ingredients for a protein-rich porridge which she has been eating while breast feeding me, and now I receive my own allotment plus three eggs for me to eat each week. Mom says I am more active and stronger than my three older siblings, and she can tell the difference all the nutrition and health education has made in the way she is feeding me. She says my older sisters were born thin and stayed thin as babies. My weight and length are at the right level for a boy my age.


I was born in January 2018 in the village of Beposo. All four of my mom’s deliveries were at home, including me. She joined Self-Help’s Growing Healthy Foods, Growing Healthy Children pilot program on the very first day of enrollment when I was two months old. She learned how important it was to have regular medical checks for herself and for me. Although she had never received any medical care after delivering my three older siblings, she went to the hospital this time to receive care for herself, and well-baby check-ups for me. The nurse at the hospital says that the other moms from our village come to the hospital more frequently now too, on the advice of Self-Help’s nutritionist. Like me, the other children in our village are now heavier than before too. She is so happy to see this improvement.


Fortunately for me, my mother was the first woman in Beposo to start planting the sweet potatoes the program recommended. In a few months when she harvests, she’ll start feeding them to me. The nutritionist says they’re high in Vitamin A, and that’s important for a growing child like me.


Most households in our village don’t have enough to eat. Many kids in my sister’s kindergarten class are too short for their age because of that. They have a hard time learning and paying attention in class. But Mom says that the kids in my class will be very smart since we all are so well nourished. In a few years, malnutrition in our village will be a thing of our past.  


Some people from Iowa came to visit today. They say I might be the next Norman Borlaug. Lucky for me, I’m getting the nutrition I need to be able to live up to that potential.