We had a great end of year celebration for the women in our Maternal Child Program. Of the 67 women enrolled in the program 65 came plus 2 whose children had just graduated. One mother brought her husband and there were also several grandmothers and lots of children! We started off with games for the women, including the tocoyal race-who can put a tocoyal on first. . We also did sack races for both the women and the children. Things got very competitive-with a little pushing and shoving! The kids really enjoyed the sack races. We also played pin the star on the Christmas tree, which was a good game for the little ones.
Every women received a broom, dishcloth and bar of laundry soap-in line with our goal of improving the health of beneficiaries. Half of the brooms were donated by a local business thanks to our social work intern Vilma Concepcion Mendoza Sosof. The kids also received a small package of clothes, which were in-kind donations.
We awarded one mother Antonia Mendoza Pablo with a certificate for having attended all the classes in 2011, being on time and participating actively. Chonita, our outreach worker,was given a certificate of appreciation for all her hard work throughout the year .
Finally came the food, which included tamales (traditional for Christmas time), tostadas, mandarins and bananas and rosa de Jamaica juice. We also gave out little pineapple pies.
Everyone had a great time and left satisfied and ready for the holiday! We look forward to an even stronger program with more women next year.
Thanks to a generous in-kind donation from Zutano, a baby clothing company based in Cabot, Vermont, we are able to gift each woman in our program a pack of baby clothes when they give birth.
These clothes are bright and colorful and always bring a smile to the new mothers. So far we have distributed packs that include onesies, leggings, hats, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, socks, shorts, body suits, dresses and blankets to over 20 women this year.
What a beautiful way to enter the world!
Since last we wrote, the Maternal Child Health Program has enrolled 8 new women into the program, bringing to 67 the number of children who are being assisted.
In our last update, we mentioned Vilma, our social work volunteer, conducting a survey with the women. This has been very helpful for Pueblo a Pueblo as it has allowed us to assess areas of strength as well as areas where we can improve the program. Some of the most important results from her report are the following:
We are now working on incorporating their suggestions into our programming and look forward to reporting back on the outcomes of these additions.
Indigenous women who participate in our Maternal Infant Health Program receive an educational workshop every month. During 2011 alone, we have covered the following themes;
It is good to see that the women share their own experiences and also ask questions on issues that many times are 'tabu' in the community.They have established a relationship of confidence with 'Chonita' the Coordinator of the Program which is much needed in order for the program to function well.
We also had a local volunteer for three months, Vilma, who helped us perform a 'social interview' with the women as well as a general diagnoses of the Maternal Infant Health Program. Vilma, who is finishing her degree in Social Work was able to see first hand the many needs of the families in the program which are representative of the many issues that poor mayanTtz'utujiil families daily face in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala.
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