What We Do
Max Foundation and its partners base their activities on proven methods and its successful experiences.
As part of our flagship programme Max Healthy Villages, we pilot a set of our interventions that are specifically aimed at stunting reduction in the Growing UpUpUp project: ‘Stunting Free Village’. Within these especially challenging areas, with extremely high stunting rates, we implement our interventions and carefully monitor and evaluate both the proven and predicted success rates. To stimulate progress within the sector we share our learnings through research, local government consultation, and public speaking opportunities.
The Growing UpUpUp project reaches target groups via a community-led service delivery approach. We teach communities to monitor child development on their own. Mothers receive growth charting materials and small-group support to discuss strategies for raising healthy children. These sessions also allow them to compare their children’s growth, and in doing so, stimulate behaviour change in each other. Max Foundation also trains local entrepreneurs to sell and install hygienic latrines, who in turn become catalysts for community-wide behaviour change.
We aim to achieve long-term behavioural change. How? By targeting prevention of stunting at the community level. With regular measuring and monitoring of child growth. Through the development of Community Support Groups. By providing access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene for all. By advocating exclusive breastfeeding for each child up to six month and appropriate nutrition for children under five and guiding women and mothers during and after pregnancy to encourage behavioural change in their families and communities.
We believe in local community engagement through the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to achieve sustainable results in stunting prevention. With this approach, local communities recognise their own problems and show eagerness to solve those with their scarce resources. In addition, Max Foundation works towards multi-indicator behavior change of the community. In this way, the concept seeks lasting change in sanitation & hygiene behaviour for the entire community by engaging local stakeholders, local government, and entrepreneurs from the beginning. Intermediaries that facilitate this are: mentors (local leaders we train to guide the process), local government officials (Union Parishad and Upazila level), and sanitation & hygiene entrepreneurs. We aim to stimulate a sustainable market model for sanitation, built on local supply and demand.
Research suggests that there is a strong link between stunting and safe water, sanitation and hygiene. By tackling open defecation and unhygienic latrines, we prevent long-term exposure to faecal contamination and chronic intestinal infections in children, which lead to reduced absorption of nutrients. We hope that through our interventions, the overall health of these children will be sustainably improved over the long term.
Our Max Healthy Village concept, makes good hygiene a matter of local pride. If a village meets six benchmarks of healthy practice and sustains the change for a year, it is declared healthy by local government officials and a sign is proudly placed for all to see. Not only do Max Healthy Villages improve community health, they guarantee better futures for children and their families.