Undernourished pregnant mothers deliver undernourished infants who are immediately at a disadvantage. Poverty breeds poverty, and lack of food and insufficient diets challenges any society. Self-Help, through its children's feeding program, is seeing positive signs to these otherwise bleak circumstances.
Nicaraguan youngsters attending one of 13 daycare centers where Self-Help provides quality protein maize (QPM) porridge, greatly benefit from each nutritious meal. In some cases, it may be a child's only meal that day, yet a nutritious one. Serving QPM porridge to young children is making a noticeable difference as they become increasingly alert and active within a short period of time. Mothers remark that their face fewer illnesses, especially diarrhea.
As you can see from the photo, the children are looking great! Self-Help is pleased to share these observations with you, and thank you for your support to alleviate malnutrition among Nicaraguan children. These basic efforts make the future more promising for each child.
After much hard work and battling through a very rainy few months, construction has been completed for the 30 de Mayo Daycare. Thanks to some very generous donations from board members and anonymous donors the daycare center is ready to accommodate 50 children ages 6 months to 6 years 5 days a week. Meals made of Quality Protein Maize porridge with added vitamins and minerals will soon be served all 5 days to help the children grow strong both mentally and physically.
Most of the people of the 30 de Mayo village attended the inauguration to open the daycare center. Also able to attend was executive director of Self-Help International Merry Fredrick, country director Jorge Campos, Vice mayor, Cora Lazo Vargas, Manager of Municipal Services of San Carlos, Everaldo Vargas, and Head of Mi Familia of Rio San Juan, Dinoras Avalos. The center will provide a place not only for the children to receive care and an education but also a place for the community to gather when needed. Everyone is very excited to have this new building as a part of their village.
It is wonderful to have the building completed but there are still some important items needed to make it fully functional. In the first picture below you can see the children are sitting in chairs which they brought from home. Self-Help would like to provide tables and chairs for the children to use as well as a bowl, cup and spoon for each child for meals. A kitchen equipped with a clay stove and kitchen utensils will provide a place for the mothers to cook meals. There is no toilet near the daycare. Building a latrine improves the sanitation and hygiene practices of the children helping to keep them healthy. Potable water is one of the best ways to improve sanitation and health especially within an underprivleged village. The closest access to potable water is a half a mile away. Being able to access a well will provide potable water for drinking, washing hands and doing dishes.
With your continued help we will soon be able to provide a fully functional daycare center for these children.
Self-Help is grateful to the donors who are making it possible for us to begin construction of the daycare center in El 30 de Mayo, Nicaragua, as seen below. It is our goal to have enough financial support to complete the building and provide meals and supplies for the children. With continued donations we will also be able provide daycare services and a nutritional meal 5 days a week instead of only 2. Heavy rains have been a bit of a hindrance. However, since construction began in July remarkable progress can be seen. What began with a few stakes in the ground has progressed into a building which is nearly ready for roofing and flooring when additional funds come in.
Greater educational as well as nutritional opportunities will come from such a simple building. It will help over 100 pre-schoolers everyday as well provide a common place for the community to meet and discuss further development. Compared to any buildings in this community, this structure will be considered a palace!
Self-Help is working hard with the Ministry of Family to see that these youngsters have a chance for a better life through better nutrition. Currently they attend pre-school twice a week. The children's schools are a private house (shack) and a 10 x14 foot wooden building that has no windows. We are making steady improvements in their diets by providing porridge maded from quality protein maize when they meet twice each week. Common signs of malnourishment -glassy eyes and lethargy- are dissipating, but there is still more to do. We want to be able to feed them five days each week for even better results.
Our next step is to build a sturdy, simple structure that they can use five days a week specifically for pre-school. This effort will then allow us to provide porridge for them five days a week instead of only two. The building will cost $3,200, and we are on our way to working with the community who will help with the construction.
Thank you for supporting our effort to alleviate malnutrition. We are making a difference because of your gifts!
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