Feb 22, 2011

Casa Jackson Update #2: Josafina

Josafina (Photo courtesy of Christiana Dittman)
Josafina (Photo courtesy of Christiana Dittman)

Casa Jackson is, first and foremost, a hospital for malnourished babies. Young children between the ages of 0 and 5 come to stay for couple of weeks or, in some cases, a few months, and they leave with the capacity to stay happy and healthy from that point on. We prefer to take in the smallest cases, because the smallest cases have the biggest chance of a full recovery. The science tells us that, if experienced beyond the age of 2 or 3, severe malnutrition has long-term effects. These include lifelong poor health, slow speech, low IQ, and more.

That said, Casa Jackson has become a loving and safe haven for many special children outside of the “ideal” age range. We have one special child, Josafina, staying with us now. Josafina is ten years old and comes from a family who has never given her the love and care that every child deserves. She is a quiet child, because she never learned how to talk, and she weighs as much as the average six year old. These days, Josefina receives food and medicine and is beginning to open up to staff, nurses, and fellow patients despite the years of abuse and neglect she has suffered.

It is difficult to see children like Josefina, whose chance in life comes so late. We’ll do all we can for her, but we don’t want to let more children reach the age of 10, or even 5, without receiving the care that they need. With the help of donors like you, we are continuing our important work with the smallest victims of poverty. And because your donations support outreach in addition to in-house care, we will continue to reach more families and more communities and to prevent the permanent effects of malnutrition in as many cases as we can.

This week, we thank you on behalf of Josefina for your continued support.

Links:

Feb 14, 2011

Casa Jackson Update #1: Gricelda at Home

Gricelda and her family
Gricelda and her family

Casa Jackson has been hopping since we joined the GlobalGiving family in December.

First, we said goodbye to several of our babies from last fall. These happier, healthier, and heavier children returned to live at home in the care of their families. We’ll see them again soon, when their parents bring them in for their monthly health check-ups.

Since the New Year, we’ve had 10 new arrivals. As we enter this second week of February, Casa Jackson nurses are caring for 16 little lives. Thanks to your continued support, everyone from Antonio, a 7 lb 7-month-old, to Josephine, a 10-year-old who weighs as much as the average 6-year-old, will stay with us until they are well enough to return home.

Last week, Oliver, the head social worker here at The GOD’S CHILD Project – Guatemala, visited the home of Gela Gricelda, who just turned 4 months old. When Gricelda was featured in ABC’s Global Health Special last December, she was recuperating from acute malnourishment at Casa Jackson. Gricelda’s mother Maria, like many mothers in Guatemala, thought she was helping her newborn by feeding her water mixed with barley and rice. Instead, Gricelda grew very skinny from lack of breastmilk or proper formula. After speaking with GOD’S CHILD Project staff at a field clinic last fall, Maria checked Gricelda into Casa Jackson for 1 month.

These days, Oliver reports that Gricelda is maintaing her weight and that her family is thrilled about how well she is doing. During his visit to their humble two-room house, he witnessed firsthand the huge and lasting change brought about by Gricelda’s stay at Casa Jackson. Gricelda, who used to cry all the time, is much more content, and Maria has heeded the advice of the Casa Jackson nutritionist and is breastfeeding once again.

We’re looking forward to sharing more of Casa Jackson with you, and we urge you to stay connected to this important project. Consider donating again, and tell the world travelers in your life to check out our Casa Jackson volunteer opportunities at www.casajackson.org. On behalf of Casa Jackson staff and the families whose lives you have touched: Muchas gracias.

Mom and child
Mom and child
Gricelda content
Gricelda content

Links:

Jan 27, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Students lining up to get inside!
Students lining up to get inside!

The Scheel International Technical Training Center opened for the 2011 school year last Monday. 145 students from Jocotenango and surrounding communities arrived in fresh uniforms, buzzing with the anticipation of starting classes and making new friends. Faces new and old fill the classrooms:

New faces like Maria’s.

Fifteen-year-old Maria started the first grade last week. A year ago, Maria was working with her mother and siblings at the local landfill, sorting through trash to sell to recycling companies. This year, with the help of a GOD’S CHILD Project social worker, Maria enrolled as a student at the Scheel Center. Donors like you gave her a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave the dump and start a brand new chapter in life. She now has a future and has dreams to reach for.

Old faces like Juan’s.

At first glance, Juan looks like someone who has had a rough life. If you decide to stop and chat, Juan is kind, polite, and intent on sharing not a sob story, but the goals he hopes to reach through education. His dream in life is “to help people who don’t have an education, who don’t have a home, who are sick, who are poor, who don’t have a lot, who just need help in general.” This tough-looking kid stands out as one of the smartest and hardest-working students at the Scheel Center, and we are all hoping that he will accomplish all that he dares to dream.

With the first couple days of school come really important lessons: how to wash hands, how to brush teeth, how to enter the classroom, why it’s good to keep quiet when teachers are speaking. Very soon, these bright and eager learners will be ready to tackle math and reading, woodworking, gardening, and volunteer-led English lessons. With your help, these kids—really good kids from really bad neighborhoods—will continue to flourish.

Continue your support.

We hope you will continue to support The GOD’S CHILD Project as this school year progresses. We´re off to a good start, but we still need your help to keep these kids in school. We are offering them a hope-filled future through long term education, and the competition is offering them drugs and fellowship through gang involvement. Please donate today and pass this link along to friends and families so that they too can get involved.

Almost time for the front doors to open
Almost time for the front doors to open
Students ready for the first day of school
Students ready for the first day of school
Teachers and staff address the crowd
Teachers and staff address the crowd

Links:

 
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