Why fundraise for Well Mother, Well Baby?
For me, the answer is very simple but takes into consideration so many people and their futures- give me a moment to explain :) As part of the team for Well Mother, Well Baby, I know first hand how necessary a program with a dual emphasis on education and nutrition is for children and their mothers in Guatemala. I have watched the science behind this program come to life as babies grow, become sick less frequently, and become more animated in my one on one's with both mother and child. I have watched mothers take information from our educational talks and apply it to their lives and the lives of their children.
From a medical and sustainability standpoint, the program is flourishing. But what makes this program so special is how it affects the women who participate in our program. Mothers enter this program with only one thing on their minds: the need to save their baby. That is a theme to which any parent can relate. If you are reading this, then you have access to the internet giving you the ability to find a wealth of information. For these mothers, even if the information for a perfect diet was available in their communities, most are illiterate making written information inaccesible. Because of this, mothers frequently have to rely on their own experience as children or the experiences of other mothers in their communities to find the best way to nourish their children. However, these communities are severely affected by poverty, lack of education, and the socio-economic consequences of the Guatemalan Civil War. In short, the information and ability to nourish children is simply not there.
The education portion of Well Mother, Well Baby gives these women a forum to discuss a particular topic, gain more information on nutrition, and ask any question that comes to mind. After a few sessions, their confidence begins to grow and you can feel the pride in their voices as they recall information from a previous learning session that they have implemented into their lives. As their children grow, visible relief and unadultered happiness are displayed plainly and briliantly in their smiles and echoed in their words.
These mothers humble themselves, asking for help and then changing their lifestyles all for the sake of their children. Their children, in turn, start to grow closer to the WHO line of health, indicating that, with hard work, they can have this better life their mothers are working so hard for. That is why I picked Well Mother Well Baby.
What can you do? Well, I'm so glad you asked! Our program is in severe need of funding to continue this year. To support the nutrition and medical access for a child in our program for a month, the cost is only 22 US dollars. Supporting a mother for a month is only 17. New equipment for the program and for the educational talks can be a bit more costly with the need resting at about 200 US dollars. Please consider supporting one child at 22 US dollars for one month and keeping this program afloat! If you would like more information about the program, please read below:
How Well Mother Well Baby operates:
CHILDREN under three who demonstrate severe malnutrition:
- Evaluated by a doctor and our Family Aid Department
- Given appropriate monthly nutritional supplementation
- Monitored and evaluated twice a month
THE MOTHERS of eligible children also receive:
- Basic food stuffs that target the mother’s ability to produce breast milk
- Monthly health and hygiene workshops, which provide them with the information they need to improve and maintain their child’s nutrition and health during and after their participation in the program
- Information on maternal health and prenatal nutrition in an effort to prevent future children from becoming malnourished
Why Well Mother Well Baby?
Guatemala has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the region and the fourth highest rate in the world, most prominently affecting children under five, women who are pregnant or lactating, and indigenous communities. Some major ramifications of childhood malnutrition are:
- Increased susceptibility to infection resulting in up to 160 days of illness each year
- Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney damage and even premature death
- Stunted growth resulting in a lower physical capacity as an adult and thus decreased ability to earn a living through manual labor
- Decreased brain and nerve development and function, resulting in lower IQs and decreased performance at school
- Increased probability of having low birth weight children in the future
Well Mother Well Baby is especially vital because it provides nutrition to children in the most critical stage of physical and mental development.
To find out more, visit https://mayanfamilies.org/page/WellMotherWellBabyProgram.
Mayan Families is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code in the USA and all donations are tax-deductible, as allowed by US law.