Smart is married with seven children. He is the secretary of an Area Civil Protection Committee (ACPC) in Nsanje district and was one of four ACPC members who participated in the GOAL nutrition training focusing on malnutrition and child development.
During the training Smart suddenly realised that unequal gender relations in households was resulting in unequal distribution of food, leading to child malnutrition in his own community. He saw for the first time that women did not have the power within their homes to distribute household food evenly between their husbands and their children and that this was
putting children at risk of malnutrition.
Following the training Smart took it upon himself to mobilise the ACPC to respond to this issue and to lead on conducting trainings across the community. Together they began with information meetings about the importance of nutrition to encourage equal distribution of food. They also began to address power dynamics within households and to encourage joint decision making, both on food distribution but also more generally.
Thanks to these meetings women have been empowered in household decision making and food is now distributed more evenly improving the child nutrition levels, including for Smart’s seven children.