CRP decided to take action after recent studies found high levels of malnutrition among Somali, Sudanese and Yemeni refugees. Last year, we started a nutrition program at our new downtown center in Amman, which primarily serves these specific refugee communities.

Our nutrition classes explain the importance of healthy eating, what a balanced diet entails, and how to decipher the sometimes-confusing labels on food. Since refugees are working with extremely limited means, the class also explores how to cook healthy meals on a tight budget.

Hashem and Zenah, both from Sudan, recently graduated from the program.

Zenah

Zenah

Why did you sign up for CRP’s nutrition program?

I have three girls. I started attending the nutrition class to learn what healthy foods my family should eat and what foods we should avoid. I needed to know what nutrients are good for me and my kids.

What is the most useful tip you learned in class?

The most useful tip I learned was about carbs, fats, and sugars. I had a general knowledge that chips, biscuits, and sweets could be harmful, but I didn’t really understand why. But thanks to what I studied, I no longer buy products with high sugar or fat content.

Do you like cooking? Did you learn any new meals to make at home?

I love cooking! And yes, we all share recipes together in class. I’ve learned about so many dishes from different countries, like Syria, Iraq, and Jordan.

My favorite dish is dolma, and my girls and I also really love mansaf. A lot of recipes here are actually similar to Sudanese dishes. In Sudan, we have something very close to mansaf, but there is just a slight difference in the ingredients.

Is it challenging to afford healthy groceries in Jordan?

Sometimes it can be difficult because the prices can be very expensive. I think this is partially due to all packaging. Even bread can be expensive because healthy bread costs more than regular white bread. But we’re still trying our best now to make healthy meals at home!

Hashem

Hashem

Why did you sign up for CRP’s nutrition program?

It is essential for every person to understand how to make healthy meals. Recently, the whole world seems to care more about healthy food, but it can still be challenging to make it at home when you have limited money and ingredients.
This made me interested in the nutrition course because the classes teach you how to make healthy food at home in the easiest ways.

What is the most useful tip you learned from the class?

The most useful tip was learning about healthy nutritious grains. Different grains actually offer different values and nutrition for the body.

Do you like cooking? Did you learn any new meals to make at home?

Of course! There was a nutritionist who would give us recipes that we could use, and we sometimes tested them out in class. Some of our lessons were about vegetables and legumes, and we tried some recipes that include them, like salads.
I also learned some international dishes and practiced making them; though I found it quite difficult!

Is it challenging to afford healthy groceries in Jordan?

I am a refugee and I have a limited source of income, so sometimes I face problems with finances. But at the same time, I do not find it too difficult to buy food. I do my best to always buy healthy food at the cheapest price.

I am very thankful to CRP for giving us this type of program. Especially because of our circumstances as refugees, it’s really important for us to protect ourselves and our families by providing them with the right nutrition.

 

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