We are excited to begin a new year and to continue accompany the rural schools and communities in a new and successful academic school year from March through December.
The schools that are part of our “Breakfast for a Child” program in Chaco and Misiones have received the first shipment of the year that includes nonperishable food items that will be served for breakfast and lunch; for most children this is the only meal they will have during the day. Also some of these schools now have safe drinking water thanks to all our supporters who made it possible during the last couple of years. In the pictures we can see the students and teachers receiving the shipments and enjoying their daily activities in the schools. More than 300 children benefit from this key program.
A new school also in Pampa del Indio (Chaco) has been added to our support network and will start receiving donations this month. The school #939 “Francisco Caceres” has a total of 252 children: 51 preschoolers and 201 elementary students; all of them belong to the Qom ethnicity.
Since 2015 we've been working together with Civil Association Pequeños Pasos and Conin Center of Loma Hermosa (Gral. San Martin, province of Buenos Aires). This association provides support and health services; it is a space in which mothers, children, and adolescents can develop social skills enabling them to grow as well as helping them to avoid unfavorable situations and promote a healthy attitude. The beneficiaries are children from birth to preschool age, expectant mothers, and children from 6-15 years of age with unfavorable social situations. Center Conin for the prevention of infantile malnutrition provides permanent assistance from pediatricians, nutritionists, early care and stimulation, social workers, and psychologists among others. Each of the 112 children participating in this program receives a weekly food basket. The center also offers different workshops and skilled labor training for the mothers.
During the first quarter of the year we sent them 26 boxes with different items such as clothing for all ages, a sewing machine, mattresses, chalkboards, furniture, kitchen utensils and other items for the center or to give out to families. We are excited to share this charitable outreach project with this center and look forward to working together.
From early 2016 we’ve been working together with FANDA; an organization that is helping and serving children with hearing impairments since 1988 regardless of their financial resources. This organization has a hearing aid donation bank and has received the first donation of batteries in the year from Sumando Manos Foundation. We are all very happy that this has been made possible thanks to all your generous donations.
In LAS TALITAS, province of Tucumán the monthly pediatric services continue to benefit about 50 children per visit; sometimes their mothers have consultations as well and are treated as needed. The most frequent consultations were for respiratory diseases, skin diseases, fungal infections and parasitic diseases. In each case, patients were treated and given the necessary medication to treat the ailment.
At the “La Casita” in Florencio Varela, province of Buenos Aires - an average of 22 children are seen each month during the pediatric visit. The main ailments are otitis, bronchospasms, fever and parasites - all of which are treated and medicated if necessary. They were also seen by a pediatric dentist and received education talks on oral health and preventive care such as eating habits and teeth cleaning due to high cariogenic risks by the lack of good habits. The dentists performed extractions of temporary teeth and preventive and conservative treatments.
At the Feeding Center “Casa Feliz Sai” in González Catán, province of Buenos Aires, an average of 30 children are seen each month during the pediatric visit. The main ailments are respiratory and skin diseases - all of which are treated and medicated if necessary. During these visits, the children enjoy 2 meals throughout the day and fun, educational activities.
At the Feeding Center “Morada de la Paz” in Grand Bourg, province of Buenos Aires children received the pediatric visit together with an ophthalmologist and a child psychologist. The visit took place during the last week of 2015, it included primary care for children and adolescents; 10 children received glass frames for prescription glasses. For the current year the work proposal is a plan of monthly visits necessary for the prevention of visual problems and their corresponding referral if necessary. There will be interviews with children and adolescents that attend and their parents, in order to detect if there are learning problems in school. In those cases, children will be directed to perform a psychology assessment and in the necessary cases, they will receive treatment. The objective of this ongoing care is to identify school problems that have no visual cause and the same time to identify and solve those problems caused by visual impairment.
Our Nutrition, Health and Education programs that support more 7000 children in more than 90 schools, foster homes and feeding and community centers and their communities located in remote zones throughout 14 provinces in Argentina shows that our involvement in these programs is crucial to maintaining the health of these communities and by supporting the educational and nutritional needs we are being a vital part of their present and future.
Thanks for trusting in our organization to be the liaison between your generosity and the children in need to give them an opportunity for a better quality of life.
Dear friends, happy holidays season to you and your families! Our wish for the next year is to have the conviction, enthusiasm, understanding, commitment, patience, and above all love, to make every effort for a better world; and as we start a new year, we’d like to share our latest activities.
"There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live."( Dalai Lama).
Activities and Projects
The Santa Clara Civil Association made its first trip during 2015 to the province of Misiones in April. A group of volunteer professionals traveled from Buenos Aires to El Soberbio to deliver food, clothing, school supplies and provide medical and dental care to children in several schools and villages in the area. In each school dental records of each person seen were completed.
The first school visited was El Boton. Dentists provided care to about 70 people, including children, adolescents and adults. The volunteers shared lunch with the kids at school, and the locals and then continued with primary care by the nurse. Here they left fuel for the school kitchen.
They also visited the Colonia Pepiri School that needed some repair work and painting due to a recent storm. Dental care and primary medical care was provided to the students of this community. The following day they visited the School of Paraje Lapacho where they treated about 90 people, including children, adolescents and adults.
On May 1, 2015, accompanied by the teacher of the school in Aldea Jejy, dental care, primary care and first aid were given to 60 people of this Aboriginal community. Later, they visited the village of Pindo Poty; where the same activities took place serving nearly 60. After that, they visited the school in Colonia Pepirí, and assisted 10 children and 15 adults.
Professionals and volunteers face the challenges of long trips on lonely roads and inclement weather with absolute dedication and commitment to this cause.
In June the group of volunteers travelled to the provinces of Salta and Jujuy. Early in the morning they arrived at the Boarding School No. 4130 “Batalla de Salta" in Paraje Santa Ana, municipality of El Potrero, Department of Rosario de la Frontera, Salta. For two days, dentists and pediatricians assisted about 40 people, including children, adolescents and adults with the participation of pediatricians of the town and the nurse who accompanied them on the trip. Volunteers spent the night at school with the children and teachers who live there on weekdays.
After two days left for La Quiaca, in Jujuy and traveled all day arriving at night. Early in the morning they went to School No. 42 "Fray Mamerto Esquiu" in Sansana. While the dentist and the nurse provided medical care to the kids at school, locals and other volunteers made food purchases for the schools, which were delivered along with clothing and other supplies. There they saw 20 children and some adults in the area. The dentist gave a talk to teach about the care and cleaning of the teeth.
The next day they traveled early to School No. 416 “Soberania Nacional" in Cerro Colorado. 25 boys and 6 adults were cared for and were given food and clothing.
On June 3, 2015 they traveled early to School No. 364 "Jorge Uro" in Tafna, where they were received by the teacher. The group delivered food, clothing and other donations and cared for 20 children. Immediately after they went to School No. 271 in “La Cienaga” where the teacher was expecting them and they delivered food, clothing and 12 children were given medical care.
In the month of August the volunteers traveled to the province of Santiago del Estero, where all children received medical and dental care and were also given donations of clothes, shoes, toys and non-perishable food items.
Since 2015 we've been working in conjunction with Civil Association Pequeños Pasos and Conin Center of Loma Hermosa, Gral. San Martin, province of Buenos Aires.
This association provides support and health services; it is a space in which mothers, children, and adolescents can develop social skills enabling them to grow as well as helping them to avoid unfavorable situations and promote a healthy attitude.
The beneficiaries are children from birth to preschool age, expectant mothers, and children from 6-15 years of age with unfavorable social situations. Center Conin for the prevention of infantile malnutrition provides permanent assistance from nutritionists, early care and stimulation, social workers, and psychologists among others. Each of the 95 children participating in this program receives a weekly food basket. The center also offers different workshops and skilled labor training for the mothers. partnership provides a space where containment and health children, mothers and adolescents to develop social skills and healthy growth, helping to prevent risk and promote healthy life attitudes. They serve children from birth to preschool age, pregnant women and children 6 to 15 years with high social risk. The Conin Center for the Prevention of Child Malnutrition provides permanent assistance of nutritionists, early stimulation, social workers and psychologists among others. You pocket a food is delivered to each of the 95 children participating in the program.
Our nutrition program "Breakfast for a Child" continues covering several schools in the provinces of Chaco and Misiones. We have added a new school to this plan: School 1015 located in Campo Nuevo, Pampa del Indio with a total of 87 students. This rural Elementary School has 72 students at the primary level and 15 students in kindergarten who receive in addition material donations, which include clothing, shoes, school supplies, books, toys, computers, medicines, nonperishable food and other items according to the needs of the children.
The total number of children who benefit from this program is more than 400; they receive food to supplement breakfast and lunch. This program is key because for many children this is the only meal they receive in the day. We continue to need your help - with only US$ 10 a month we can cover a child’s breakfast for an entire month.
The following institutions have also been added to our aid plan:
School 1015 located in Campo Nuevo, Pampa del Indio, Chaco with 15 boys in kindergarten and 72 primary all belonging to the Qom ethnicity. The school is in need of building repairs, the installation and connection of electricity, a surrounding fence, and the repair of the installed toilets which are in very poor condition. Additionally, children need food, clothing, toys and footwear. They have already begun to receive part of the help they need via donations.
High School 76 'Gustavo Riemann” is a secondary level technical school with 450 students located in Villa Rumipal province of Cordoba is now receiving donations for the students.
Higher Education Institute No 25 with 1,200 students has a foundation that coordinates the activities of the "Alberto Belloni" Library located in Puerto Gral. San Martin province of Santa Fe. The library functions as a centre for learning, socialization and community services. Children, teens and adults can learn different skills such as computer literacy and other types of skilled labor. Our foundation supports them by sending donations of clothing, toys and educational materials for the children and teens who participate in the activities. There are almost 400 children from preschool to high school benefiting from this library who are now receiving donations.
The communities that receive help from our work alongside Organization SAI continued to receive support:
Visit to School No. 166 in Cerro Santa Ana, Misiones was carried out successfully. Approximately 70 and 80 children from 1 to 18 years old were provided medical attention. In addition to medical services, they received several items as donations such as powdered milk for breakfast and snacks, clothes, shoes, school supplies, balls, cookies and candy for the children. They visited the Home "Mamitas" for pregnant girls. This home accommodates 15 pregnant girls from slums and 10 boys aged between 5 and 10 years who were rejected by their families. This home does not receive help from any civil institution or government. Girls receive support, love, care, good nutrition. They learn crafts, cooking and they can continue their studies, etc. Some make a living by selling their crafts, working in the garden, selling pies or other baked items, etc. Mostly come seeking refuge and bringing their kids with them. They have received as donations: milk, sweets, various foods, clothes and shoes for children and adults, toys, diapers, cleaning supplies and hygiene items.
During the visit to the Guarani Communities of San Ignacio in Misiones between 70 and 80 children participated. The Communities of "Mirí Tava" and "Pindoty-I" are composed of 10 families each. In each community there is a satellite school classroom where indigenous children attend and share with non-aborigen children. Donations included powdered milk, sweets, various foods, school supplies, clothing, shoes, cleaning supplies, etc. These resources were delivered at the right time. The communities were left without the ability to provide children of any food since the government had suspended the delivery of the food supply. We have seen progress in improvements in facilities thanks to private donations received through the Sai Foundation.
In Los Oleros, Posadas, Province of Misiones also, there is a bimonthly medical visit in which approximately 25 adults and about 17 children received medical care. Neighbors are very poor, hardworking and with many needs. A neighbor commented that his wife suffered a high blood pressure stroke, but his old car would not start, so they took the bus to a hospital but that took too long and she died.
It is noted that the neighborhood is increasingly being populated but services are never enough, especially drinking water. The neighbors are deeply grateful for the service that is performed as the weekly doctor's visit does not meet the needs of the community. At the time of the visit the school received 887 boxes of clothing and footwear. Moms showed appreciation for the help received.
In Florencio Varela, Buenos Aires pediatric dentistry and dental services were conducted serving about 50 children per visit. Cases of breathing problems, infections of the upper respiratory tract, skin problems, parasites and dental problems were addressed.
In Gonzalez Catan, in "Casa Feliz Sai" medical, pediatric, dental and veterinary care in addition to educational and recreational activities were conducted weekly. They assist 60 people average per visit of which 50 are children and adolescents. Every Saturday after their breakfast, recreational activities with children are carried out: they read stories, draw, paint, etc. Then they collaborate in the preparation of lunch. The number of children seen by pediatricians and dentists varies every week but it is between 20 and 30 per week. Additionally a weaving workshop was introduced for children and adults. As of June 3 families are receiving food donation due to the detection of malnourishment in children.
Also, a medical care camp where ophthalmologic care was provided to 35 children took place in the School of La Boca where human values classes are being taught.
The same ophthalmologic care camp took place in Grand Bourg where 45 patients were treated and eyeglasses were given to those who needed them. It was fun and emotional especially for a man of about 70 years old who received his glasses and said goodbye to all expressing these words: "Now I'm going to buy a newspaper and I'll read because I haven't been able to do this for years." It was striking to see the amount of children and adolescents who attended. The main pathology was myopia and astigmatism. We set up a waiting room where patients received presents and school supplies donated by an volunteer.
The service in Noccan Kani, Santa Fe was performed weekly as usual. About 60 adults and 100 children attend. Ususally, food, a community sewing class, Education in Human Values and snacks are offered. Mothers and their children received clothing and food. Both mothers and children collaborate with the setting up and cleanling of the place. On Sundays children attend, they teach them values education.
At the “Escuelita Sai” in Las Talitas, Tucuman there was workshop to teach about Prevention of Oral Health in September where toothbrushes and toothpaste were distributed. It was conducted by a professional dentist who explained the importance of brushing and demonstrated how to do it correctly. It is expected to carry out similar conferences on a regular basis to track the evolution of oral health. Also, the monthly medical services that serve approximately 25 children were carried out; medicine were given to treat common ailments such as respiratory diseases, skin infections and parasites.
Thank you all for your trust in our organization to be the liaison between the generosity of all who collaborate in different ways and children who need it.
Ten years ago, with a group of friends we founded a nonprofit organization called Sumando Manos Foundation, because we believed that together we could make a change in our lives and the lives of other people.
10 years ago our organization was born, and everything happened very fast, from our first meeting where we discussed what to do and how, and more important, why we are doing it.
Today, looking in perspective and distance these 10 years, it's amazing that our idea, our dream became a reality and that we can help so many children in our country.
We are involved in various projects that help underprivileged children in remote zones of Argentina. The children we work walk bare foot between 5 and 8 km to go to school and consider themselves lucky if they get one meal a day. They live in villages were resources are limited and access to basic human needs such as drinkable water, electricity and medical care are not guaranteed.
Our organization works by leveraging and complementing each other’s talents. We seek to optimize what we have, those intangible assets that we have acquired through our personal and professional lives, and what we enjoy doing to give children a better quality of life.
But that experience also was built with what we learned from our failures.
The need and gaps we saw made us react urgently, and that was a mistake.
Children were dying due to malnutrition. We provided food for them, but they could not eat it because the conditions of their oral hygiene did not even allow them to chew. Working with our team and other nonprofit organizations, we were able to get dentists and physicians to come treat them, but the problems just kept on unfolding. We soon realized that there were parasites in the soil that the children, who lacked shoes, were being exposed to. So we provided shoes for them, but, even then, the children continued to die because they were also drinking contaminated water during their long walks from school back home and vice versa.
Finally, we were able to drill and provide safe, clean water for them to drink. Thanks to the continue efforts, in the last six years no child has died due to mal nutrition, parasites or contaminated water.
We learned that there is no short term or one time solution and there are realities that even we cannot imagine.
We learned about ourselves, we learned to listen more, to be more patient and compressive, so we can understand the specifics of each situation, in each place, and meet the people and their needs. This helped us a lot, especially to define how to work, as bond with each community, and with other organizations to provide assistance in an integrated manner, seeking long-term solutions to rural schools, feeding centers and foster homes, in remote locations our Argentina.
And we learned the difference between result and impact.
The other day I was asked about the difference between result and impact, and I think one way to describe it, is distinguishing between what represents for us the activity we do, and what change produces in the person who receives it.
For example, we conduct the campaign "For a child's breakfast" for schools in Chaco. From the perspective of the result, it could be measured by: obtaining the necessary funds, the bond with the people who help us reach that monthly food schools, etc. But when that food may be the only one receiving by the child in the day, when it becomes to school in the place of containment where kids go for the food and increase the attendance, and where children can receive education because they do not fall asleep because of the different levels of malnutrition, This is what we define as impact!
And we learned that giving is not giving what we do not need, but to share what we have.
There have been several stories and projects like this one in the history of our organization.
We started helping a foster home with 20 children, and today we have helped more than 10,000 children in more than 100 schools and their communities. And we learned that they only exist because a lot of people are willing to give, willing to do what they like and what they know for the benefit of others, to make a change.
As a USA poet (Maya Angelou) said, “people may forget what you said and may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”.
And this is our mission, to make the children feel that they are important and have an opportunity.
Today, we are very happy to share with you that in several of the schools support by our organization new children generation does not know what is facing lack of food, clean water, school supply, and pediatric services.
Thanks to everyone for trusting in our foundation to be the liaison between the children who need our help and yourselves
Sumando Manos Foundation