When a baby is born, we take particular care as we hold the small infant, supporting its neck as the young child is not strong enough yet to do so on its own. Generally, we know this will change over the first months of his or her life.
At 20 months old, however, this was something Chrislene struggled to do — her body devastated with severe dehydration and malnourishment.
The young girl was referred to Real Hope for Haiti’s inpatient malnutrition center at that time weighing only 15 pounds; the average weight of a 12-month-old is typically already 20 pounds.
“When she first arrived she could not even hold her head up she was so weak”, Licia of Real Hope for Haiti said. “She was started in medications and an IV was placed for her. She remained weak for a few weeks and had to be fed through an NG tube. Once she began to feel better she began to eat and drink normally. She then was running all over the center happy and content.”
Real Hope for Haiti is a Christian organization located in Cazale, Haiti, that serves through its medical clinic, cholera hospital, sponsorship programs, and an inpatient center to treat malnourished children. They are also one of Jake’s Diapers Diaper Drop partners.
“All of the children that are in the inpatient malnutrition program have been admitted by a family member,” Licia said.”We work with the family to help educate them on how to best care for their children. The goal is to keep the families together. Once the child has recovered and returned home they then return each month for a food box and a check-up. We have cases where the parents have died or abandoned the child with other family members, we work with them to encourage them to care for the child as well. This could be an aunt, uncle grandma or grandpa.”
When it becomes obvious the family will not be caring for the child, he or she is placed in foster care. Real Hope for Haiti has 15 children that were abandoned at its gate or inside its yard currently placed in foster care.
Real Hope for Haiti relies on donations from Jake’s Diapers to support the children in these foster care programs.
“It has helped in our foster care program as special diapers were sent in for these kids,” Licia said. “It was hard for the moms to find large diapers for the special needs kids. This was a big blessing to them. It has also been helpful to the nannies in the inpatient care facility. The color system has helped and the love that they do not have to find safety pins to secure the diapers. The love the snaps and that they can make the diaper fit to the child.”
Chrislene at arrival and after months of treatment