Wuqu' Kawoq

Wuqu' Kawoq's mission is to address the barriers to excellent health care that the majority of Guatemala's indigenous Maya population face, including principally the lack of access to health care in their own languages. As such, Wuqu' Kawoq develops primary care and health programs within a larger context of community vitality, family stability,and Mayan language revitalization.
Nov 28, 2012

Successes and Plans for the Coming Year

Dear friends, 

Thanks so much for your ongoing support this year! We greatly appreciate it. 

We wish you and yours a pleasant and enjoyable holiday season. If you are still looking for an end of the year giving opportunity, don't forget that it is easy to donate to any of Wuqu' Kawoq's projects through the Global Giving interface here. In addition to regular giving options, the interface also allows you to give holiday gift cards or donate in honor of a loved one, both great options for alternative holiday giving!

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to provide a brief research update from one of the community nutrition projects that you have supported this year. This project has been providing direct nutritional supplementation and medical care for children for 18 months now. In this time, based on new data that we just collected last month, we've seen that the rates of severe stunting have fallen by more than 40%. This reduction in stunting has occurred at the community level, including even the small number of children who haven't been always so regular at taking their supplements or coming to medical checkups. This means that the positive messages about child nutrition and coming together to combat this problem are really having an effect at all levels in the community!

Also, as the year draws to a close, we are just wrapping up analysis of our focused needs assessment survey that we performed over the summer, and to which I've alluded in prior updates. This survey, they results of which I'll share with you when the analysis is complete, are really pointing us towards some new opportunities in 2013, especially focused on improving dietary diversity and support for new mothers. Look for these changes and additions to our programming in coming months!

As always, thanks for your support, and feel free to email me with any questions at peter@wuqukawoq.org. 

Links:

Oct 7, 2012

Clinic Inauguration

Dear friends, 

We just returned from an exciting trip to Guatemala. One of the focal activities of this trip was the formal inauguration of this clinic building. 

Although we've already been using the building informally to see patients for a while now, while construction was finishing up, this inauguration gave us the opportunity to unite the entire community to celebrate the conclusion of the project. In attendance were officials from local government and school and hundreds of community members.There were speeches, dances, and food. The activity was organized by Wuqu' Kawoq's regional staff and by the local women's action community that is in charge of running this clinic and its associated activities. 

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you so much for all your generous support in getting this project off the ground. Even though the clinic is now operational, there are still giving opportunities, as we still have a some clinic supplies and furniture that we would like to add to round out the space. 

As always, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions at peter@wuqukawoq.org. 

Links:

Sep 7, 2012

Improving Education about Nutrition

The focus group team
The focus group team

Dear Friends,

 Our child nutrition programs have always had three basic pillars.

 (1) The provision of nutritional supplements to children, to help prevent malnutrition and provide as a "safety net" in times of food insecurity.

(2) The provision of excellent medical care, to help identify and treat the diseases--both common and rare-- that contribution to child malnutrition.

(3) Education of caregivers and community leaders about child health and nutrition, to help provide communities with the tools they themselves need to be engaged in protecting the health of their children.

Of these three pillars, by far education is the most challenging. This may sound counter-intuitive at first. However, if you think about all the different barriers that exists to a good educational program--such as low rates of literacy, or the inherent resistance there always is to changing infant rearing practices (which are time-honored and passed down from generation to generation in every culture)--then it is becomes easier to understand why educational programs are numerous but quality educational programs (that produce real change at the community level) are few indeed. 

With this mind, I'm happy to report that Wuqu' Kawoq has just finished up the initial stages of a massive program evaluation designed to improve our nutritional education programming. To accomplish this, we assembled a highly skilled team of community health workers, anthropologists, and nutritionists, who spend most of July and August conducting dozens of focus groups and hundreds of interviews with community leaders, parents, and other stakeholders in our communities.

This evaluation was wide-ranging, designed to help us understand better what parents think about the health of their children and the causes of malnutrition. It will also give us deeper inside into dietary diversity, breastfeeding and weaning practices, and competing nutritional messages from other groups (such as companies which market infant foods).

 Right now our team is evaluating the immense amount of data that was collected during this evaluation. Within the next month or two, we will have a formal report from the team which will identify the areas where our current nutrition education programming might be deficient or not exactly in line with the needs of our communities and give us recommendations for improvement. We're very excited about this great opportunity we have to continue to improve our programs so that we can better serve the children of Guatemala!

As always, thanks so much for your continued support, and keep in touch! Feel free to drop me an email at any point at peter@wuqukawoq.org. 

Traveling to communities
Traveling to communities
Interviews in progress
Interviews in progress

Links:

 
   

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