Believe it or not, the woman and smaller child in the right-hand image are the same people as in the left-hand image. There's only three weeks between the pictures.
Say what you like about missionaries – and I’ve said plenty about them myself – but there’s no denying the value of some of what they do. There was nothing wrong with this child, or his mother, that couldn’t be cured by a few weeks of good nourishing food. While they were in the hospital, she was also taught a lot about nutrition, so there was some hope that they might stay healthy, and even that other people in her village might also learn from her. On the other hand, it’s all very well to know about nutrition, it’s another matter to afford the things you need, or to be able to grow them. But she was better equipped to make informed choices amongst what she could afford, grow, or find.
One of the commonest deficiencies in that area is vitamin A. It’s quite easy to grow carrots and papayas there, and they’re excellent sources of vitamin A. Education is a much better solution to the problem than ‘Golden rice’, rice that’s been genetically modified to produce vitamin A, which makes no sense at all (see Golden Rice, Hybrid Rice).
Sulwesi Adams – a short story about two siblings adopted by a missionary when their mother died..