Nutrition Program Interns at Helen Keller International – 2 Openings

Helen Keller International (HKI) – Established in 1915, is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Headquartered in New York City, HKI currently conducts programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, as well as in the United States.

HKI implements integrated package of cost-effective interventions that are proven to improve maternal and child nutrition. HKI supports policies and programs on food fortification, vitamin A supplementation, infant and young child feeding, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, community-based management of acute malnutrition and prevention and treatment of neglected tropical diseases. At the core of HKI’s programs is advocacy and social behavior change communication to various stakeholders. HKI also undertakes cutting-edge research to influence policy decisions and inform program quality.

Background

In recent years, the terrorist insurgency by Boko Haram, coupled with counterinsurgency by the Nigerian army and rampant attacks on communities by armed cattle herdsmen, have afflicted most parts of northern Nigeria. This has led to massive numbers of internally displaced persons (IDP), disrupted daily livelihood activities, reduced access to basic health and social services, and exacerbated infections, food insecurity, and malnutrition in the area.

It is estimated that at least 4.4 million people currently require immediate food assistance and more than 400,000 people require urgent livelihood assistance (such as access to portable water, food, household essentials, farmlands, markets and cash to start small businesses) across the north-eastern parts of Nigeria. One of the areas greatly affected is Adamawa State1.

Recent estimates suggest that Adamawa is currently home to at least 150,000 IDPs, including people fleeing Boko Haram attacks in neighboring Borno and Yobe States. The majority of the displaced persons are women and children, who are also the most vulnerable to malnutrition.

However, some live in officially recognized IDP camps and others are in informal camp-like settings. Presently, there are three official IDP camps in Adamawa, located in Yola South, Yola North, and Fufore LGAs. These camps are often overcrowded, potentially increasing the risk of disease outbreaks, malnutrition and mortality.

Available data suggest that Fufore LGA has the largest number of IDPs living in host community (4,686) and formal camps (1,580) Of these, 81% are women and children. HKI proposes to implement a nutrition-sensitive agriculture project that integrates homestead food production with social behavior change communication to promote the Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) and Essential Hygiene Actions (EHA).

This project, which includes active case identification management and treatment of acute malnutrition, will aim to improve the food and nutrition security of IDPs living within the host communities of Fufore LGA of Adamawa State.

At the end of the project, it is expected that the following measurable outcomes would have been achieved:

  • Increased dietary diversity of vulnerable beneficiaries by 5 points from baseline through access to year-round nutrient-rich foods
  • Increased number of months’ households have access to nutritious and diverse foods
  • Increased health and nutrition-seeking behavior of IDP households
  •  Improved appropriate infant and young child feeding practices
  • Increased use of latrines and of washing of hands at critical moments
  • Increased knowledge and use of climate-smart agriculture techniques among IDP households

HKI, therefore, seeks to recruit a nutrition program intern that will support vulnerable groups (moms and adolescent girls) living within IDP households in Fufore LGA of Adamawa state regarding enhanced homestead food production, community management of acute malnutrition, infant and young child feeding and water, sanitation and hygiene.

Role Purpose

  • This role of the progarm Interns is to provide support to the nutrition community volunteers in the Project’s Communities in implementing the nutrition interventions (Community Management of Malnutrition, Infant and Young Child Feeding, Water, sanitation and Hygiene and Enhance homestead food production).
  • Throughout the intervention, the Nutrition Interns will work towards ensuring quality delivery of nutrition interventions in the Project locations.

Key Deliverables:

  • Ensure quality nutrition screening for children under-5 conducted by Health workers in target Communities.
  • With support from the Program Officer/Program Associate, ensure quality cooking food demonstration sessions are conducted in Project supported Communities.
  • Ensure that community nutrition interventions (MUAC screening and Referral, IYCF (MSGs, food demonstrations) and hygiene promotion are integrated
  • Build capacity of community volunteers (model mom and adolescent girls mentors) by providing on-the-job training on CMAM, IYCF and EHFP.
  • Support Project level nutrition assessment/surveys as approved by Donor.
  • Support quality data collection of activities conducted in the Communities.
  • Ensure quality and timely reporting on all areas of implementation
  • Support the development of case studies and success stories from programme implementation.
  • Any other additional responsibility as communicated by the supervisor.

Qualifications, Experience and Skills

  • Diploma or Degree in Nutrition, Health, Public Health or any related fields.
  • Experience in Nutrition and community-based programming will be an added advantage
  • Excellent communication skills and a willingness to be respectful, kind, sensitive and empathize with all beneficiaries
  • Good communication skills (verbal and written).
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Understands Hausa
  • Acceptable IT Skills.
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