Author Archives: Jennifer Nielsen

Why Breast Is Best

In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, HKI's Jennifer Nielsen talks about her work promoting exclusive breastfeeding.
Diffa Mother Breastfeeding

This post was written by Jennifer Nielsen.

My job as HKI’s Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health is, in some ways, not unlike that of advertising executive. I sell a product. In my case, the product is not fancy shoes or designer jeans, but healthy nutrition practices. Getting people to change their behaviors, even when it will improve their health, is not always easy (think of all the anti-smoking campaigns you have seen and how many people still smoke).

One of HKI’s key nutrition goals is to persuade mothers to feed their infants nothing but breast milk for the first 6 months of life, or as we like to say in the trade, to “exclusively breastfeed.” There are often cultural beliefs and traditions that prevent mothers from adopting this healthy practice, and it is my job to overcome these barriers and convince new moms that breast is truly best.


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Categories Reducing Malnutrition

The Forgotten Children of the Sahel

Diffa children

This post was written by Jennifer Nielsen, HKI’s Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health. It is part of a series of blogs organized by The Huffington Post and the NGO alliance InterAction to call attention to the crisis in the Sahel, a region in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 18 million people face starvation and 1.1 million children under the age of 5 are at risk of dying from acute malnutrition.

Although my e-mail is flooded with messages detailing the political, economic and climactic forces precipitating a hunger crisis in the Sahel, the story is strikingly absent from the news reaching most Americans.  But because my work in the region has helped me see these vulnerable families as if they were my own, I am anguished by the situation.


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Categories Africa, Reducing Malnutrition

How to Make a Difference: Meet HKI’s Jennifer Nielsen

An interview with HKI's Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health
Jennifer in Nepal

I often wonder how people actually get to live their dreams. I sat down recently with Jennifer Nielsen, Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health for Helen Keller International, and discovered someone who has actually done just that. Here is Jennifer’s story:


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Categories Africa, Helen Keller, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles