I have been a quilter for over 25 years. I like helping make the 200-plus quilts that our group completes in a year. In October, the quilts are blessed and join thousands of others to be sent around the world.
Besides the obvious use as warmth in homes and hospitals, they are also used as room dividers for displaced families living in refugee camps – a little privacy goes a long way in making a temporary shelter a home.
Recently I found out about another way quilts contribute to the health and wellbeing of children.
A recent article in LWR (Lutheran World Relief) Mission Quilts highlighted Njombe, Tanzania. Njombe is one of the coldest regions of Tanzania and where one out of every three children is stunted.
In 2020, researchers investigated the causes of stunting in the region and discovered that children were not only hungry – they were cold. Instead of using every calorie to grow, they were burning significant energy just to keep their bodies warm.
“Stunting is caused by chronic malnutrition in a child’s early years, and it has devastating results. Children who are stunted are more likely to get sick and take longer to get better, and they also often experience developmental delays and have trouble learning.” (LWR.org)
I have a daughter and granddaughter who are short-genetics. They are small yet powerful in their abilities and intelligence. Stunting, however, is more than being short. Stunting prevents a child from reaching thier potential in every way.
For me quilting is rewarding and social. I admire the beauty of the 60” x 80” quilts, but now I also appreciate how they can have a profound and long-lasting effect on a child’s health. Being warm can be equal to healthy growth.