Advent International for PIH: Reach the Beach

by Partners In Health (PIH)
Advent International for PIH: Reach the Beach
Advent International for PIH: Reach the Beach
Advent International for PIH: Reach the Beach
Advent International for PIH: Reach the Beach

Project Report | Oct 7, 2015
Advent International/PIH Reach the Beach Update

By Laura Soucy | Annual Giving Manager

Team 8 celebrating their finish
Team 8 celebrating their finish

On September 18th and 19th, over 150 runners and drivers from Advent International, Partners In Health, O2X, Lululemon, Goldman Sachs, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Weil Gotshal took part in the 200 mile Reach the Beach Relay race from Bretton Woods, NH to Hampton Beach, NH, all in support of PIH’s work in Chiapas, Mexico.   There was beautiful scenery, abundant sunshine and loads of enthusiasm along the way, which helped to make the event a huge success. 

Thank you so much for supporting all of us in this effort, helping PIH to continue advancing our work to improve health care in one of the extremely vulnerable communities where we work: Chiapas, Mexico.

One of the greatest health concerns in the rural, mountainous area of Chiapas is malnutrition.  Protein-rich and fatty foods such as meat and dairy products are hard to come by and expensive, partly because refrigeration is scarce to non-existent. Additionally, small neighborhood shops are more prone to stock items with long shelf lives, such as prepackaged cookies and soda. Cultural practices do not always align with good nutrition either. When children are weaned, they are often given caldo de frijol, or bean broth, which has the flavor of beans, but none of their nutritional benefits.  Children’s health in Chiapas reflects this nutritional deficit-- Mexico’s 2012 National Health Survey found that 44 percent of children in the region suffer from chronic malnutrition—six times the national average. It’s a grave concern for Companeros En Salud’s (PIH’s sister organization in Mexico) doctors, nurses, and community health workers. They know, and see firsthand, that chronically malnourished children are at an immediate disadvantage.  Not only is their growth stunted, but their brains fail to develop at a proper pace, making it more difficult for them to learn and concentrate. They’re also more likely to get sick than well-nourished children.

Previous programs to address malnutrition focused on educational workshops to provide proper nutrition information to families with malnourished children, but it quickly became apparent that education alone was not working.   To address the ongoing problem, CES formed a partnership with Heiffer International to improve access to nutritious food, reverse childhood malnutrition and spark the local economy.  The plan is to provide 14 hens and one rooster to each family with a chronically malnourished child under 5.   In the short term, chickens will provide families with a daily source of protein through the eggs they produced and, on special occasions, a meat dinner. Whatever the families don’t eat, they can sell for extra income. The long-term goal is to improve local diets and the economy by “Passing on the Gift.” Chickens shouldreproduce to the point of doubling their flocks and those extra chickens will then be passed along to family, friends, or neighbors in surrounding CES communities who could use the extra source of food or income.

Halfway into the pilot, at least 14 of the 68 children have grown enough to rise out of chronic malnourishment. There’s been a 15 percent reduction in the number of families who experience moderate-to-severe food shortages. And during especially lean months of the year, families at least have eggs to eat for protein, and they can sell a chicken or eggs to buy other essential goods. These are small victories, but with your support, CES will be able to extend the program to all 10 CES communities, to reach as many as 600 children over a three-year period.

Thank you again for your support, and enjoy the photos! 

Team 3, cheering on their runner
Team 3, cheering on their runner
Dr. Carrasco (right), CES community program coord.
Dr. Carrasco (right), CES community program coord.
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Organization Information

Partners In Health (PIH)

Location: Boston, MA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PIH
Project Leader:
Laura Soucy
Annual Giving Coordinator
Boston , Massachusetts United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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