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Nov 10, 2017

An Incredible Year!

Paul and Laura
Paul and Laura

Dear Supporter of Excellent Education,

For Laura and I, it is a joy to walk through our little town of Camasca. When school is not in session, about half of the children 10 and under that we see attend the bilingual school. They try out their English with us, "Good Morning. How are you? I am fine thank you." The older children have conversations with us in English. They are so happy, bright and engaged children. The value of this education, of excellent quality and accessible, will yield fruitful opportunities for them, and is becoming the model for education in Honduras. Thank you for investing and believing in children who instill hope for a better world.

In Honduras, the school year runs from February through November and we are winding down the year. What a great year! We started the year by building and openning our third building of classrooms, and now have the capacity to house students from Kindergarten through sixth grade. We have opened our doors to many projects and programs in the community, including the Honduran Robotics Team that Shoulder to Shoulder sponsored for their international competition in Washington, DC. We are constantly adding new technology in our classrooms to make teaching more exciting, engaging, and effective. Our school has participated in many events within the community including dance and art competitions, parades, and even our first-ever marathon. We have welcomed talented and inspiring volunteers. 

Our volunteers bring spirit and wonder to our school. Backpack Matt, his blog name, has traveled from Indonesia to Chile, but has returned to Camasca for his second volunteer experience. An accomplished videographer and photographer, he has captured the beauty of our shchool and the students. Please watch the many smiles of our students in Matt's video, Facing the Future.

Peace,

Paul and Laura

4th Grade Class
4th Grade Class
Una Danza Tradicional
Una Danza Tradicional
Happy Child (young bilingual student)
Happy Child (young bilingual student)
Walking Home in Paradise
Walking Home in Paradise
Our School Shield
Our School Shield
Oct 30, 2017

Securing Good Health through Healthy Nutrition

Delivery Truck
Delivery Truck

Daer valued donor,

In August we completed one full year cycle of our nutrition program and the distribution of the nutritional supplement Chispuditos to families. Becuase of your generosity, we are beginning a new cycle. We took some time to visit the families participating in the program, assess their needs, and enroll them in this cycle. We are always overwhelmed at the humility and integrity of our families, the great sacrafices they make, and their unconditional gratitude.

Genaro is the father of five children, three of which are enrolled in the program. When we visited he apologized for the condion of his home. He is putting aside a little of the money he can save farming, and is slowly building a better home for his family. He asks that we continue the program for his three children because the product his children drink is making them healthier. They have been sick much less frequently.

Enermila is the mother of three children, all of whom receive the nutritional supplement. She is thrilled with the program and is overjoyed that her children will continue to get it. She thinks her children are happier and that they are sleeping better.

Both Genaro and Enermila have to walk for over an hour to and from the health clinic every three months to have their children weighed and measured and pick up the packages of Chispuditos. It is a sacrifice for them. But they are both pleased to do it. They both said they do it for love. In thanking us, they are really thanking you.

Peace,

Paul and Laura

________________________________________________________

 

Report*:

The tractor trailer carrying half of this year's Chispuditos made it all the way to our Conception clinic where we store the product in large steel containers. As you can see from the picture, it couldn't make it through our gate. Last year, it couldn't make it all the way to the clinic because of the condition of the roads. We had to send out pickup trucks to carry the product the remainder of the trip. Things are indeed improving!

  • 2830 children were enrolled in last year's program. 2830 children are enrolled for this year. 
  • The percentage of children underweight decreased from 14% to 10.6%.
  • Wasting (weight for height/length) decresaed from 4.2% to 1.8%.
  • The medical charts of 958 (36%) randomly selected program participants were reviewed. In the period bewteen April 2016 and April 2017, the number of children diagnosed with Respiratory Infection decrased from 36 (3.8%) to 27 (2.8%). In the same period, the number of children diagnosed with Intestinal Infection decrased from 22 (2.3%) to 7 (0.7%).

Stunting (height by age):

  • Among those who were stunted at baseline there is a 20% decrease in stunting by 6 months.
  • The percent of this group underweight was over twice that of the group overall (35.4% versus 14.0%).  While the group overall only decreased underweight by 3.4%, this group decreased by 9.9%.
  • This group also showed improvements in wasting, from 3.6% to 2.3%.

*You can see the entire report by clicking the attachment "Nutrition Project Findings for 2016-2017."

Enermila with two children
Enermila with two children
Jose Genaro with four children in his home
Jose Genaro with four children in his home
Two of Enermila
Two of Enermila's youngest with Chispuditos
Paul and Laura
Paul and Laura

Attachments:
Aug 21, 2017

Nutrition Means Health and Well-being - Aug. 2017

Mother with Baby Boy
Mother with Baby Boy

Dear Generous Friend,

First, we are elated with the success of this campaign. We are inspired by your generosity and welcome you to a team of people committed to working to eliminate inequity that arises from poverty and injustice. Your donation to our nutrition program is making children healthier and giving them the opportunity to realize their potential in life. By way of introduction, we’re Paul and Laura, the General Directors of Shoulder to Shoulder. We live in Honduras and love every minute of our lives and our work with this incredible organization. Please contact us directly. We will be honored to respond.

“Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”  -- Anne Frank

The people we serve are poor. The under nutrition they suffer is not because they take most of their meals at a fast food joint. They eat what they can grow – beans and corn.  In the best of times there is little variety and a substandard level of nutrition. If the harvest fails, well, you might be able to guess at the result. 

Meet Christian. He’s two. A few days ago, we were delivering water filters to poor families. Nutrition is a serious problem as is clean water. Christian is part of the nutrition program. What an incredible kid! He was engaged with us the whole time we were there, smiling, posing for the camera, and just plain showing off. The family was drying out a fresh harvest of beans, and Christian’s mother had all she could do to keep him out of the beans.

I’ve seen children who are undernourished. They maintain a vacant expression. They remain unengaged. It seems unreal to me, and it usually brings tears to my eyes. Give me a kid that thrashes around in the family’s bean harvest over one that stares absently at a wall any day. That’s what the nutrition program accomplishes. Christian, we’re looking forward to your growing up and engaging this incredible world.

Data and Results from July 2016 - August 2017

We have completed a full cycle of distribution, but the complete data are not yet available. Another report will be generated and sent out in September. There are presently 2,944 children enrolled in the nutrition program.

  • Nutrition indicators show improvements in weight for age (underweight) and weight for height/length (wasting) for both males and females. 
  • The average height/length for age (stunting) does not show a clear trend among program participants, although among those who were stunted at baseline there is almost a 25% decrease in stunting by 9 months.  This group also showed large decreases in anemia (from 67.6% at baseline to 58.1% at 6 months).
  • In November 2016, hemoglobin samples were taken for a group of randomly selected children under the age of 5.  The final measure of hemoglobin levels was completed in June 2017.
  • Among program participants anemia decreased from 51.2% at baseline to 39.7% after 6 months.  This change is more prominent among girls (17% decrease).

Peace,

Paul and Laura

Mother with Two Boys
Mother with Two Boys
Older Man with Baby
Older Man with Baby
Christian, His Mom, with Water Filter
Christian, His Mom, with Water Filter
Christian in the Beans
Christian in the Beans
Paul and Laura
Paul and Laura

Links:


Attachments:
 
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