Azura Mbeya and her toddler Shaziri Masonjo received a quilt from Lutheran World Relief during a distribution in Njombe, Tanzania, to help prevent stunting.

LWR Mission Quilts: an unexpected tool to keep children healthy

  • Emily Esworthy
  • May 23, 2023

Your quilts provide warmth, shelter and a tangible gift of love to neighbors in need.

Did you know they also help children grow up to be strong and healthy?

Stunting is common but preventable

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; they also often experience developmental delays and have trouble learning.

In other words, stunting is more than just being short — it prevents a child from reaching her potential in almost every way.

Growth takes energy

Njombe is one of the coldest regions of Tanzania, where one out of every three children is stunted. In 2020, researchers looked into the causes of stunting in the Njombe region and discovered that children were not only hungry — they were also cold. Instead of using every last calorie to grow, they were burning significant energy just to keep their bodies warm.

Fortunately, Lutheran World Relief has a reliable (and colorful) solution to the cold: the LWR mission quilts you faithfully sew. Today, thanks to the work of your hands, nearly 9,000 children in Njombe have quilts to keep them warm and help them grow up strong and healthy.  

Your quilts are the perfect complement to our programs that screen children for malnutrition and help families ensure they have enough to eat.

Dr. Lali Chania, who leads our programs in Tanzania, says, “Thank you to quilters on the other side of the globe for all the great work and dedication, and for bringing works of their hearts to children of Tanzania. It’s very important.”

Emily Esworthy, May 23, 2023 email