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Ti Foyer (hearth) community-based nutrition activities informed by the positive deviance approach in Leogane, Haiti: A programmatic description

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This paper details the steps to design and implement a positive deviance-informed, "Hearth" approach for the nutritional rehabilitation of malnourished children in the district of Leogane, Haiti. Groups of four to five children met daily for two weeks at the home of a local volunteer mother for nutritional and health messages and a well-balanced meal. Health messages and meal components were determined using information gathered from interviews with the mothers of positive deviant children in the community who are well nourished despite their family's limited economic resources. Hearth participants were then followed for six months in their own home by the program "monitrices," women hired from each village and intensively trained to supervise the Hearth program, periodically weigh the children to evaluate their progress, and liaise between the hospital and the community. Monitoring from the first cycle indicated that 100% of children in eight villages and 66% of children in the remaining five villages continued to gain weight as fast or faster than the international standard median six months after participating in a Hearth program. At the conclusion of this cycle, programmers interviewed participant and non-participant families and made six modifications to the model, including the addition of a microcredit option for participating mothers.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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