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Grandmother and Grandfather in traditional Kyrgyz clothing with their four grandchildren of various ages, in a group photo.
Grandparents with their grandchildren. Photo Credit: Maxime Fossat forUSAID

Evidence shows that integrating approaches to promote nurturing care into existing nutrition programs results in improved outcomes for both nutrition and early childhood development. USAID Advancing Nutrition developed the Responsive Care and Early Learning (RCEL) Addendum Package, which includes counseling cards, training materials, and an implementation and adaptation guide, to help programs with existing infant and young child feeding (IYCF) components integrate additional components of nurturing care (responsive care and early learning) and provide holistic nurturing care for children from birth to age two. The project is currently pilot-testing the package in Ghana and the Kyrgyz Republic.

In the Kyrgyz Republic, the team has the additional opportunity integrate RCEL into two different components of USAID Advancing Nutrition’s IYCF programming: first, through strengthening RCEL/IYCF counseling services within the health system by health workers, and second, through expanding social and behavior change (SBC) communication approaches taken by activists (community volunteers) within the community. In both cases, the team adapted the SBC materials to fit each program’s design. As part of this adaptation, USAID Advancing Nutrition developed country-specific counseling cards for health workers to support counseling on RCEL and created an integrated (IYCF/RCEL) supportive supervision structure to support the provision of quality counseling. At the community level, the project created brochures for activists to share with caregivers, highlighting key messages and content related to RCEL. These brochures complement existing brochures that share information on breastfeeding, complementary feeding, maternal nutrition, and anemia prevention, and household hygiene.

In Ghana, USAID Advancing Nutrition piloted a cascade training for health care providers and community-level counselors, along with research on the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of the draft RCEL Addendum counseling package and its integration with existing child health and nutrition packages. This included equiping nutrition or health officers and public health nurses from four districts in northern Ghana who are responsible for training health care providers. Learn more about the pilot in Ghana.


USAID Advancing Nutrition Kyrgyz Republic organized an online lullaby singing contest with social media influencer Mirzat Mukanov to promote the importance of engaging with young children to support…