The Foundation’s Applied Global Nutrition Research Fellow, Stephen Charles Alajajian, RDN, has been working in Guatemala on behalf of the Foundation and Maya Health Alliance/Wuqu’ Kawog, overseeing the implementation research and quality improvement aspects of a garden research project and participating in nutrition-related efforts.

Steve is enjoying his work and knows the impact the program will have locally and globally, “It’s been a privilege to work with Wuqu’ Kawoq | Maya Health Alliance over the past year. In January, we began implementing home gardens for chronically malnourished children, and we are continuing to enroll new families each month. I am grateful for this opportunity, because I have been able to develop my skills as a research nutritionist while making contributions to improving nutrition outcomes for stunted children in rural Guatemala. Fellowships like this elevate the profession by strengthening registered dietitian nutritionists’ skillsets and making a global impact through food-based interventions. I applaud the AND Foundation for collaborating with socially responsible organizations like Wuqu’ Kawoq that prioritize language and culture as key considerations in the delivery of high quality health care.”

Steve is an Academy member and has previously served as a Foundation Fellow with Gardens for Health International in Rwanda as Senior Nutrition Technical Adviser, as well as a nutrition consultant for the Clinica Sanjuanerita in Guatemala and as a maternal-child nutritionist at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.

Here, we see Steve (far right) helping families in the village of Chutiestancia construct gardens to address issues of malnourishment, which will be monitored and studied throughout the fellowship and results compared to other local communities.

In 2017, as part of the Academy’s 100-year anniversary, both the Academy and Foundation went through a rigorous and collaborate strategic planning process. As a result, the created a shared vision to create a world where all people thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition. One of the principles to support this vision is a strategic effort to eliminate all forms of malnutrition globally. This Fellowship has been made possible through donations to the Foundation’s Second Century Campaign.

Gifts to the Second Century Campaign are supporting these collaborative efforts that make a tremendous impact within our profession, empowering Academy members to optimize global health with tools, research and model programs that are addressing the greatest global food and nutrition challenges now and in the future. Please consider making your own contribution to the Second Century Campaign to support these efforts that aim to eliminate malnutrition world-wide.