SNV is a nonprofit organization that was founded in the Netherlands in 1965. SNV has been very successful in building a long-term presence in countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and has an affiliate office in Washington DC. The company works with local partners in countries to better communicate with communities, businesses and organizations while spreading useful information. SNV works in the areas of water, sanitation, hygiene, agriculture and energy, and helps communities grow by giving them the tools and knowledge they need to gain access to basic services and break the cycle of poverty. SNV’s website states that their mission is to “make a lasting difference in the lives of millions of people living in poverty”, which is done by sharing expertise in their leading five categories, and contributing to solving some of the world’s leading problems. One large belief SNV holds is finding local solutions and making a lasting (sustainable!) change. This is completed by keeping in mind the four factors SNV states are “essential for successful development:” inclusive development, systemic change, local ownership, and contextualized solutions. In a video I watched on YouTube, I was able to hear back from one of the communities SNV was able to help- Kambwi Village of Zambia, a village suffering from malnutrition.
Malnutrition affects up to two billion people worldwide, causing stunted growth and preventing normal development. Josephine Mulenga and husband Titus Nondo of Kambwi Village live with their 5 children, all of whom have faced stunted growth. They had no idea that other people around the globe didn’t have to work as hard for their food as Josephine and Titus, as well as the rest of their community. SNV hosted a nutrition program for the people of Kambwi, where they learned that non-nutritious diets can stunt growth of children. Mwenya Kabwe Zyambo, a community development officer of Kambwi also noted the amount of shorter children in the community, and worked with SNV to bring this information to light. Stunting is a big problem in the country but because of the program that was started for the community, the people were able to work on these problems on their own, without having to rely on anyone else or subsidies trying to fix the way the community has been preparing food for years. After doing a stunting test, the community noticed that all the children tested were in fact shorter than what they should’ve been, according to age and sex. The community then decided to try and grow other types of food. In the past, work ethic was more important than diet or nutrition, it didn’t matter what you were growing or eating, as long as you were doing it well. However the community now has a different view of food, and many families have started growing a larger variety of nutritious foods. Since starting, the SNV program has helped more than 4,000 households in Zambia begin to eat a healthy and diverse diet.