By John Mbugua and Irene Kimani.
ACK Budokomi in Busia County is one of the frontline churches partnering with Compassion International Kenya to advocate for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life. It has not only focused on breastfeeding mothers but also brought men on board to support this phase of life.
During the quarterly meetings convened by the Church for fathers, they learn effective parenting, domestic conflict resolution, how to support nursing mothers, and enlightenment on the different myths and misconceptions the community has held for many years. Such as a belief amongst some of the residents of Busia that weaning babies as young as one month makes them strong and enables the mother to add weight.
This initiative has led to many men coming out and openly supporting their spouses. For example, Baba Zasha, one of the fathers in the program, affirms,
“Breastfeeding is very cheap and safe.” He explained, “…there are fewer instances of sicknesses when the child is allowed to breastfeed. Supporting the mother with good food and stress-free life is my only expense. With just that, all is well. I advocate for breastfeeding…”