Feed a Child - Reduce Malnutrition in Guatemala

 
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Measuring children in our new project!
Measuring children in our new project!

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continued dedication to make #lifeworthliving for each child here in Guatemala. We firmly believe that every child matters, and that all should have access to the highest quality of care, no matter where they were born. That is why your donations are so important. 

To show our gratitude, we would like to introduce you to our newest program to fight malnutrition:

"Guatemala has one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition in the world. In the Maya communities in which we work chronic malnutrition rates for children under five can be as high as 75 percent. Chronic malnutrition, or stunting, results not only in a reduction in height, but also developmental delays. Our program seeks to better understand these developmental effects of stunting on children ages six to twenty-four months.

While nutritional interventions are just beginning, our dedicated team of anthropologists, community health workers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, and translators has been hard at work for months preparing to work with our new patients. This work is particularly important, as we will be the first in Guatemala to measure developmental outcomes in severely stunted Maya children. Over the course of the next year the team will evaluate the impact of nutritional education on the height and development of the participants." 

With your help, we will continue to work to #endmalnutrition and improve life for not only our current patients, but all those who will come in the future. Thank you again for your continued support!

With gratitude,

Anne Kraemer Diaz

Executive Director

 

 

Our community health workers going home-to-home
Our community health workers going home-to-home
Two adorable cousins from Chichimuch!
Two adorable cousins from Chichimuch!

Dear Friends,

Every child matters.

In the past year alone, we have been able to grow our program and we have offered preventative nutrition services to over 500 children in 6 rural communities in Guatemala, as well as intensive in-home nutrition classes to more than 50 mothers. We have also pioneered the notion of recuperative chronic malnutrition in a new program with more than 100 children enrolled.

Without these services, malnourished children will be slower to walk, to talk, and to read. They will have difficulty focusing in school, resulting in a much lower life-long income earning potential. These children will never reach the full potential that so many of us take for granted in our own children.

Your continued support means that we can unlock that potential and provide healthy and happy futures for children and mothers. It means that we can improve their academic performance, economic opportunity, resiliency, and social relationships, so that they can lead the lives that they want. By providing education and supplementation to children between the ages of 0-2, we are making early investments in their futures.

Guatemala suffers from the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the hemisphere, where babies do not have adequate nutrition to grow and thrive. Together, we can change that.

With gratitude,

Yay! This little one improved on her growth curve!
Yay! This little one improved on her growth curve!
Chutinamit
Chutinamit

Dear Friends,

It is with your continued and considerate support that we are able to work so hard to eradicate malnutrition and provide a healthier and happier future, one baby at a time. Even though  Guatemala continues to maintain one of the highest levels of malnutrition in the world, our team at Wuqu' Kawoq works tirelessly day after day to ensure that progress is being made in our Child Nutrition program.

As a thank you for all of your help, we invite you to take a closer look into a day with some of our Wuqu' Kawoq workers. Without your help, we wouldn't be able to do what we love doing - serving our communities and inspiring change.

"Upon arriving in Chutinamit, we were immediately greeted with loud music, little kids in costumes, and plenty of smiling faces. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the children were from a local school who were putting on a dance for Carnaval, which is celebrated with bright and colorful costumes and masks, and painted cascarones (eggshells) with confetti.

I asked a woman standing next to me more about what the tradition symbolized, and she simply stated, “It is a day for the kids to be happy.” A beautiful sentiment, and certainly one that Wuqu’ Kawoq is striving towards. Meanwhile, a couple of feet away from the Carnival festivities, Yoli and German were busy weighing and measuring children inside one of the houses. After taking the measurements, Yoli spoke with the mothers about healthy eating for their children, such as incorporating more fruits and vegetables in their diet. This part is especially critical, since education is a lacking component within the communities we work.

Our next stop was in Nuevo Progreso, where we visited two homes. Again, Yoli and German took the measurements of the children to track the progress of their growth. So far, the children we have seen have been doing fairly well. At the second home in Nuevo Progreso, German informs me that this particular child has not been growing as expected. Because of this, Yoli has begun giving education classes with the mother to explain what types of beneficial changes can be made in the child’s diet and lifestyle. As stated before, education is a crucial part in informing the mothers about proper nutrition, while also giving the mothers a sense of autonomy in improving her child’s health.

Our final destination was Chichimuch, where we met with a beautiful baby girl who has been doing very well with her growth. After taking her measurements, we were dismayed to find out that her growth worsened slightly. Yoli and German sat down with the mother to find out the cause, whether her child had been sick or had not been eating as much as usual. Though there was nothing unusual in the child’s health or eating habits, Yoli gave suggestions on different ways to prepare fruits, for example mixing mangoes into a smoothie, so that the growing baby could eat more.

It was a long day, but a typical one for Wuqu’ Kawoq workers. The fight towards improving child malnutrition is a slow and arduous one, and each improvement in a child’s growth is significant. Each improvement means a step further in providing a healthier and happier future, a future where every day is a day for the kids to be happy.”

We are working to #EndMalnutrition and #GrowGuatemala to transform the future of Guatemala. Thank you for your continued support of our work. 

With gratitude,
Anne Kraemer Diaz
Executive Director

Yoli speaking with a mother in Chutinamit
Yoli speaking with a mother in Chutinamit
Nuevo Progresso
Nuevo Progresso
A mother and her child in Nuevo Progreso
A mother and her child in Nuevo Progreso
German and Yoli in Chichimuch
German and Yoli in Chichimuch
A mother and her child in Chichimuch
A mother and her child in Chichimuch
Health promoter, Rogelio, measures a child
Health promoter, Rogelio, measures a child

Dear Friends,

Healthy, Happy Babies! We have been working nonstop to transform the future, one baby at a time!

The reality that Guatemala has the highest level of childhood malnutrition in this hemisphere, 4th in the world is shocking and horrifying. At this moment, so many babies do not have adequate nutrition to grow and thrive, leaving the children stunted, or short short in stature for their age. This translates into children who appear to be 5 but are actually 7 or 8 years old.

You can see our exciting malnutrition program at work by empowered women in our communities!

It is not the short stature specifically that we are worried about, it is the fact that the loss of these inches directly correlates to lower IQ, it means slower development and missing milestones as an infant and toddler, milestones that I look for in my own daughters ages 4 and 1. Malnourished children will be slower to walk, slower to talk and to read. They will have difficulty focusing in school resulting in a much lower life long income earning potential. These children will never reach the potential that so many of us take for granted in our own children.

But there is incredible Hope and Success! 

With your help and support, we at Maya Health Alliance - Wuqu' Kawoq, have created a mobile primary health care system that saves lives through excellence and quality.  Our nutrition program places baby and mom as critical actors to changing the future of Guatemala. Our Child Nutrition program provides universal nutritional and micronutrient supplementation to all children from 6 months of age onward and to all pregnant and lactating women. We also focus on educating child caregivers about breastfeeding, complementary foods, common childhood illnesses, hygiene and clean water through our community-based nutrition education classes. Additionally, the foundation for all of our nutrition programs is the provision of good primary care for children. Children with complex needs are immediately referred to our surgical or special needs programs.

We have helped over 2000 children this year and educated 500 mothers on Nutrition and Women's Health topics. I wanted to share these very exciting successes with you.

See our nutrition research here!

We are working to #EndMalnutrition and #GrowGuatemala to transform the future of Guatemala. Thank you for your continued support of our work.


With gratitude,
Anne Kraemer Diaz
Executive Director

Beautiful feet! Measuring babies takes accuracy.
Beautiful feet! Measuring babies takes accuracy.
Finger-licking good! Learning healthy eating.
Finger-licking good! Learning healthy eating.
Gustavo before (3 months) and after (7 months)
Gustavo before (3 months) and after (7 months)

Dear Friends, 

We often hear about Impact, but do we really know what it means?

Impact is important yet difficult to measure, and it can be even more difficult to really see. We are thrilled to bring you Gustavo, a baby boy who is growing and thriving because of donors like you!

In December, when Gustavo was almost 3 months old, he was malnourished and not growing at all. His mother was doing everything she could by nursing him, purchasing formula when she could and giving him all the love possible, but it wasn't enough.

Mom could not produce enough milk to help Gustavo grow and formula costs were so high for this poor family. When she came to us, Gustavo was at his birth weight, even though he was almost 3 months old. We knew action had to happen quickly in order to save him!

We began an intensive nutrition and education intervention.  First, we learned about mom and her situation during a home visit. We learned that she had the most heart wrenching situation, she has lost a baby 2 years earlier in a similar situation as Gustavo. We quickly started Gustavo on the path to health with nutritional supplementation, education for the family, and close oversight from our team. Your partnership with us enabled our team to find this baby and provide him with education and initial life saving treatment. 

We also partnered with our friends at Watsi who helped us to fund Gustavo’s continued life saving care as he is not from one of our primary health care commnuities. Overall, we excited to link donors and organiations together to save lives! We are extremely thrilled with Gustavo's growth and beautiful smiles!

Thank you for saving a life today! I look forward to bringing you more success stories soon!

Sincerely,
Anne

 

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Organization

Wuqu' Kawoq

Bethel, VT, United States
http://www.wuqukawoq.org

Project Leader

Anne Kraemer Diaz

Bethel, VT Guatemala

Where is this project located?

Map of Feed a Child - Reduce Malnutrition in Guatemala