In the Bato area of Leyte province in the Philippines, children under two years old are at risk of acute or chronic malnutrition.  The effects of malnutrition are irreversible.  Children who do not receive proper nutrition in these crucial formative years will never develop as they should.

Malnutrition has many causes.  A general lack of nutritional knowledge, poverty, and insufficient health care all contribute to children who are stunted, underweight, and are not able to later reach their full potential in school.

In partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, ADRA began the MASIGLAHI (Maayos na Nutrisyon Para sa Masiglang Lahi – Better Nutrition for Mothers and Children) to help families address this vital issue.

Working with local health workers and community volunteers known as nutritional scholars ADRA has been helping to identify children at risk and teaching their families how to safeguard their health.

The benefits are not limited to children under two.  The entire family benefits from the health and nutrition trainings.

Mother in the Philippines and her childrenCherry Jane and her husband Alberto live at the top of a hill.  The only way to reach their house is by climbing a steep and narrow dirt trail.  They have eleven children ranging from 19 to two.  Cherry Jane is a housewife and Alberto is a farmer.

Their youngest child, Jessi, was underweight and at risk of malnutrition.  Cherry Jane joined the MASIGLAHI project and began attending the ADRA sessions. She learned about the nutritional value of vegetables and started using the recipes, like squash cakes and fried moringa patties.  Her other children also enjoyed the new foods and were more energetic.

Soon Jessi began to gain weight.  Not only did she gain weight, she had a lot more energy.  One of Cherry Jane’s neighbours noticed how much weight Jessi was gaining and asked for the recipes for her children as well.

Cherry Jane is determined to use the lessons she has learned for the rest of her life.  She will be passing them on to her children and to her grandchildren, when they come along.

Your support of ADRA’s mission is bringing better health to thousands of children.  Thank you for your compassion and support.

Wondering what’s in the recipe?
ADRA’s project uses locally available ingredients to create nutritious and inexpensive meals.  Squash cakes, or torta, can be combined with rice and fruit juice for a yummy lunch.


Fighting Malnutrition, ADRA CanadaSquash              – 50 grams
Seaweeds         – 15 grams
Fish                    – 49 grams
Chicken Liver   – 25 grams
Eggs                   – 40 grams
Oil                      – 35 grams
Rice                   – 45 grams
Onions              –   1 small size
Garlic                –   1 clove


1.    Boil the squash and mash it and set aside.
2.    Pre-cook the fish and chicken liver. Debone and cut into small pieces and set aside.
3.    Cut the seaweeds into small pieces by using a kitchen scissor.
4.    Mince the onion and garlic.
5.    Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl
6.    Then add the eggs and cornstarch
7.    Mix them all together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8.    Mold in a flat circle and fry.