Early this summer, while the Self-Help staff was visiting the women at Ohene Nkwanta for its micro-credit program, they noticed a very malnourished child sitting beside his mother, Janet. His stomach was terribly distended, with frail arms and legs. Immediately following the meeting, project officer, Benjamin, met with the mother to learn more about the family.
Three-year-old Charles is one of four children. Janet explained that Self-Help loans have been a Godsend as she is better able to provide for her children. At the time, however, Charles’ malnourishment was beyond what she was capable of improving. Self-Help stepped in to provide the mother with QPM (quality protein maize) porridge and vitamins for Charles, in an effort to alleviate his health issues. Self-Help also provided Janet with a loan so that she could purchase health insurance for the entire family.
As you can see from the photos, on July 27, before Charles was given porridge and vitamins, he faced serious health problems. The second photo taken only one month later, August 31, already shows a transformation taking place! More support is needed for Charles, but he is improving, and we will keep track and share with you his progress.
Thank you so much for caring for children like Charles. The vitamins are truly making a difference!
Having never been to Ghana before, I was absorbing every conversation, every meeting, and every experience at the various sites we visited. Among those experiences are hours and hours of stories to tell, pictures to share, and videos to replay. Playing soccer on dirt roads with kids after school, butchering the little Twi'i I knew and eating local fruits with beneficiaries in their villages became common practice. One memory that is especially dear to me was when I met Abraham and his mother during one of our meetings outside of Kobriti.
I was shown a picture of Abraham when he was young and a bit malnourished. His mother had just started her first loan and over the next two years, she invested in her business and it paid off! She has expanded her business and Abraham has surely benefited from the loans as well. He had been eating QPM-enriched porrige and grew a significant amount. Shy, yet full of energy and playful with his mother, Abraham will start school soon and coincidently be one of the tallest kids in his class. Our executive director, Merry, did not recognize him until she was told who he was. As his mother carried chairs out of our meeting area, Abraham easily walked to the car with a large bowl full of palm fruit balanced on his head. He was happy to hand us mangoes from the back of the truck, initiative that was not taken last year when he was much shyer and not nearly as strong. At his young age, he is very healthy and strong, obvious signs that the QPM porridge has positively-affected his growth.
Mothers Learn Too
Infants and children aren’t the only ones benefitting from Self Help International’svitamin program in Ghana, mother’s benefit too!
Mothers of children receiving the protein enriched vitamin supplements are not only learning goodhealth and nutrition practices when they bring their children to the feeding centers.Self Help staff provides valuable training and education about nutrition, sanitation andhygiene - information these mothers would otherwise not have access too.
The women then put the new information and techniques into practice in their homes and with theirfamilies. “It’s like a ripple effect,” says Merry Fredrick, Self HelpInternational Director. “ Mothers inform their families who then inform theircommunities. . .the improved practices spread and the entire communitybenefits.”
Investing in this education further enhances the benefits of Self Help’s QPM porridge feedingprogram to increase protein intake, as well as its distribution of vitamins.Sound family healthcare practices complement the program and decreased frequency ofillnesses continues..
Infantsand children aren’t the only ones benefiting from Self Help International’svitamin program in Ghana, mother’s benefit too!
Mothers of childrenreceiving the protein enriched vitamin supplements are not only learning goodhealth and nutrition practices when they bring their children to the feeding centers.Self Help staff provides valuable training and education about nutrition, sanitationand hygiene - information these motherswould otherwise have no access too.
The women then putthe new information and techniques into practice in their homes and with theirfamilies. “It’s like a ripple effect,” says Merry Fredrick, Self HelpInternational Director. “ Mothers inform their families who then inform their communities.. .the improved practices spread and the entire community benefits.”
Investing in thiseducation further enhances the benefits of Self Help’s QPM porridge feedingprogram to increase protein intake, as well as its distribution of vitamins.Sound family healthcare practices complement the program and reduction inillnesses continues to decline.
Kenlin’s struggle began at inception. Her young mother, 16 year old Epifania Palacios, was physically handicapped from a cerebral stroke she suffered as a child. When Kenlin Carolina Izaguirrre Palacios entered the world on Sept. 11, 2009, she was under weight and at a disadvantage because of the limited access her mother had to the vitamins and nutrition she desperately needed.
Her mother heard about Self Help International’s nutrition project in a daycare center not far from their farm. So, at 6 months old and in precarious health due to malnutrition, Kenlin and her mother traveled to for medical advice and vitamins. Kenlin was underweight at 13 pounds,
Her mom’s physical disabilities made the journey to Cico especially challenging, but, according to the staff, she persevered. Her daughter became visibly stronger and healthier, and with-in six months Kenlin had gained seven pounds.
Then Kenlin fell ill with an intestinal infection that made her weak and unable to eat so her mother stopped taking her to Cico. Kenlin recovered from this setback in her life, but her weight plummeted. Mother and daughter began the daily trek again for the vitamin and supplement regime and again, Kenlin began to thrive.
By the time Kenlin was 21/2 she weighed a healthy 25 pounds. According to the daycare staff, Kenlin’s parents are very happy their daughter is doing so well.
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