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Oct 31, 2018
Greetings from Siem Reap, Cambodia! Safe Haven ( is a small NGO in Siem Reap (Cambodia) that works with children with all kinds of disabilities. We have been producing and distributing peanut-based RUTF for about 3 years, after being trained by Dessa from Project Peanut Butter. Our situation may be a bit different from some other small-scale producers because our children don't necessarily have SAM - they have chronic severe malnutrition because of their inability to chew and swallow related to their disabilities, primarily severe cerebral palsy. For children who cannot chew or swallow easily, every mouthful of food needs to contain the highest possible amount of calories and protein, and this is what RUTF provides. Families sometimes mix the RUTF into the rice porridge their children eat, drastically improving the nutritional content, and sometimes feed it directly to children. It is an enormously helpful resource for families who cannot otherwise afford to make any kind of special calorie-enriched food, as they often struggle to provide even basic nutrition for their healthy children. Previously, we provided powdered formula to some of our families in an effort to improve the children's nutritional status, but the cost and the calorie/protein density of RUTF makes it a far more efficient and affordable option. We hope to eventually be able to collect more organized qualitative data about the impact of RUTF for these children, but we can tell you already that without any doubt, it makes a huge difference to many children who cannot otherwise take in enough calories or get enough protein. We also provide physiotherapy and many other support services to children with disabilities, but without being able to meet basic nutritional needs, these services are very limited in their impact. We look forward to the opportunity to share ideas and lessones learned with other small-scale producers.


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