Poor nutrition is a multifaceted problem that requires a combination of interventions that address the immediate and underlying elements of nutrition. Particularly in the first 1,000 days of a life, poor nutrition can lead to irreversible damage in one’s brain and body, affecting their ability to do well in school and earn a good living as an adult. Nutrition plays a vital role in a child’s development and eventually, in a country’s ability to prosper.
In this light, the Roots to Shoots (RTS) Program was designed as a multi-stakeholder, multisectoral initiative aimed at nurturing and transforming human potential. With particular focus on the earliest stages of child development, the initiative aims to foster the right conditions for children to take root, grow and branch out to reach their full potential. RTS brings together elements of health and nutrition, food security and livelihood (FSL), and water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in a community based approach to ensure that the next generation are given their best chance to survive, thrive and grow to be responsible and productive members of society.
Roots to Shoots is a 3-year program that aims to improve the nutrition and food security status of undernourished communities in the Philippines, with a focus in the priority areas defined in the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022.
RTS combines nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions and is collaboratively implemented by Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), World Vision Development Foundation (WVDF), and Manila Water Foundation (MWF).
RTS has empowered communities to take control of their health, nutrition, and sanitation. Bombon, one of the program sites, has seen significant change within the past three years because of the program – 4.32% fewer underweight children, 0.39% fewer overweight children, 7.45% fewer children experiencing stunted growth, and 2.46% fewer children experiencing wasting
RTS has been providing solutions to malnutrition in its pilot program sites. From 2019 to 2022, the program has made a great impact in Pasacao and reduced incidences of stunting by 10.57%, wasting by 5.39%, the number of underweight children by 6.91%%, and the number of overweight children by 2.73%.
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