Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY

by Special Families Saint Julie Billiart (Familias Especiales Santa Julia Billiart)
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Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY
Yogurt con Amor, Nutrition for Kids w/disABILITY

This is a report to say good bye to all our supporters in Yogurt con Amor.  With the COVID problem and the economic situation, the staff of Yogurt had to decide to close their doors. We are all sad but we believe that we did our best to educate and share about nutrition with many people in Matagalpa Nicaragua by producing a very tasty and creative yogurt and cheese

We want to thank all our donors for believing in us and really helping us to reach many different goals.  We reached the goal to provide yogurt to mothers who were suffering from their treatments with chemotherapy, we were able to give nutritional support to children who were receiving therapy.  We provided yogurt as a breakfast with fruit for the children in special education.  We gave employment opportunities to people with a handicap and to their mothers also.

Most of all we continued to produce a nutritious product that had not existed in our city before we started.  Our promoters continued to promote good nutrition and to sell the product in order to support our lunch program for people with a handicap.

Thank you again for your support

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Yogurt is on a campaign.
They are selling their yogurt with painted decals of different animals in danger of extinction. This campaign encourages children and adults to be aware of the animals in danger of extinction in Nicaragua. In addition, they collect a certain number of yogurt tops and can win a free yogurt. The Special Artists painted the yogurt lids to create awareness of animals in danger of extinction. The new yogurt campaign was promoted during the Annual Fair for animals in danger of extinction.
This yogurt campaign is the idea of Scarlett, the new person in charge of sales. She wants the children in the schools to remind them about these animals and how important they are to our future. It is a campaign started during the fair as yogurt’s way of contributing to the environment struggle against extinction.
Yogurt is also getting a new facelift in repairing its motor-taxi, making it safer and lighter for its many trips delivering yogurt across the city. The artists are repainting it to include the animals on the stickers on the motor taxi. One of the artists said. There are always spaces where we can paint our animals. And create that love that is a part of Yogurt con Amor.
As we continue to maintain the different health measures to avoid COVID, we are aware of our mothers suffering from cancer treatments. When they are receiving chemotherapy, it becomes hard to eat, and they find that all they can stomach might be a bit of yogurt. These mothers receive free yogurt con amor in hopes of helping them stay the course for their treatment and become survivors of cancer, not victims of cancer. It is essential because these mothers have children with special needs, and they are concerned about their future. Yogurt con amor wants to animate these mothers and help them survive the complex treatments.
There is no better way than showing the Amor in yogurt than being able to help others maintain hope during an illness. So the workers in Yogurt con Amor want to thank you for assisting them to help others. The mothers with cancer, the children in therapy, the children who eat daily at the lunch program all benefit from the Amor in Yogurt con Amor-
Thank you.

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Nutrition Promoter in Moto taxi
Nutrition Promoter in Moto taxi

Yogurt con Amor is more than just producing a nutritional product; it is about relationships created through nutrition. It is about caring, caring about the women receiving chemotherapy who cannot eat other products. Yogurt is delivered to malnourished children in a nutrition center who need to grow strong because they got a rough start in life. It is about families with many children who, when the promoter arrives, she is surrounded by the children singing, “Mama, Mama, the yogurt is here, the yogurt is here.“ One day, I asked students in a volunteer program what they knew of Special Families. One young man said, “Aren’t you the ones that sell that yogurt with love.”
Children receiving therapy get yogurt as an award to help in their development. This year yogurt con Amor started nutrition talks for children in special education and raffling free yogurt. Yogurt con Amor is about people with a disability beginning to hold a job and creating relationships with other workers. Yogurt is also about having jobs for students from rural communities to study in Matagalpa because there are few schools in their communities. Many doctors in our area recommend our yogurt for the health of their patients since it is helpful for digestive health. It is still 100% natural with real fruit for flavoring. All proceeds from yogurt go to keep our lunch program SMILE that feeds about 110 meals a day to children and adults.
In Special Families, we are working on a protection policy for our planet. This month we are starting to put solar panels in the yogurt factory. This is exciting as Special Families is trying to find natural solutions to many of the struggles of running small businesses which provide Nutrition and Jobs. From all the staff at Yogurt con Amor, we want to thank you for all your support. It does make a difference in our lives and the lives of children in need of nutrition, gracias. 

mother and daughter leaving yogurt after work
mother and daughter leaving yogurt after work
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Yogurt, something so simple, can make a difference in people's lives. I talked to a group of high school students who want to volunteer and help children with disABILITIES. I asked them, "What do you know about Familias Especiales? One teen waved his hand and said, " aren't you the group that makes that Yogurt With Love?" Yes, that is true. We have learned that bringing nutrition to families often brings love. Yogurt With Love uses the funds raised from sales to support our lunch program that feeds over 110 people and other nutritional programs in the barrios. Yogurt is shared with families who need nutritional support. This Christmas, we gave food baskets to over 100 people in need. We had a unique basket for one mother who was so sad after her special child died due to his disABILITY. We invited her to come to a small Christmas party and share her child's story, where we gave her that food basket. She also entered our raffle for an "Old Man 2020". She won that too. She carried home the life-size stuffed man to burn on New Year's Eve at midnight, tonight, in fact. This inspired me to sit down and write this report tonight. We were moved by her profound story, knowing that all in the room could relate to her experience of sacrifices and loss. She worried if she was often ignoring her other children by paying so much attention to her son with a disABILITY. She was afraid they would not accept her now that their brother had died, failing them as a mother. We witnessed that she was wrong, as her other children had come with her to the party, and they all got up and hugged her tightly. These are the stories that change our natural yogurt into Yogurt With Love.
We are also vigilant right now with a former yogurt worker hospitalized for cancer. While visiting her, we brought yogurt, a food she could digest. Her family was astonished since she has not worked on the project for over four years. They said they felt that they were not alone in facing this illness with her now. Nutrition is something that brings us together. The nutrition promotors and the production workers are looking forward to 2021 to share their products with many more people and spreading the word that they are not alone. A local school recently held its year-end celebration and ordered yogurt of every flavor as its menu for the party. We are always busy making the yogurt and the granola bringing nutrition and joy to others because we have had so much support from you. Thank you. You have made a difference for us, and we feel like we are not alone. Happy New Year 2021 with hopes and prayers from the yogurt staff ready to bring more nutrition education and love in the new year

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selling yogurt in a pandemic
selling yogurt in a pandemic

Even the pandemic cannot mask the appeal and flavor of Yogurt con Amor, an artisan yogurt and cheese factory in Matagalpa.  This nutritional product has become a lifeline for mothers who are receiving cancer treatment; for children with problems swallowing; for customers whose doctors recommend probiotics for digestion and other health issues. The yogurt is 100% natural, with no preservatives, the cheeses are derived from the same yogurt. Making and selling yogurt is a service to the community, now performed by masked women, post lockdown.

So, who are these masked women who are keeping social distancing, yet reaching out to their community with products made with love?  They are mothers who have children with disabilities, they are women who have a family member with a disability and they are women with disabilities themselves.

The vendors are usually students working their way through university.  Selena came to Matagalpa to continue her studies from a local community with fewer educational opportunities. Her family farm is far from Matagalpa, two buses, plus a ride on horseback. She is familiar with milk products since she grew up on the farm making cheese but had never tried yogurt, which uses a fermenting process.  Tasting this fermented milk, she was immediately ready to work for the project. Each day she joins the other vendors to bring yogurt to those who need it for health reasons and to those who simply want to enjoy the delicious product.  She was working only 3 months when Familias Especiales (FE) went on lockdown, she lives with the mother of a girl with disabilities. Offering to rent a room in their home helped her to work and study. During this time she has also learned to understand some of the needs of children with disabilities.  Jobs at Yogurt con Amor benefits students trying to earn an education. 

The new pandemic policy is to use masks and face shields when selling and delivering in public. These masked women were dreaming up new products during the lockdown, such as carrot and pineapple yogurt-flan and even a yogurt cake. They are continually searching for recipes that use yogurt as an alternative to heavy cream for making healthier desserts.

As Yogurt con Amor, re-opened the public accepted their service with open hands and hungry stomachs.  People know that the funds from the yogurt project keep the children’s lunch program open and promote nutrition for families of children with a disability in Matagalpa neighborhoods.

The now masked women of Yogurt with Love, are grateful for your support, allowing them to serve others and improve their livelihood through employment.

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Project Leader:
rebecca trujillo
Matagalpa, Matagalpa Nicaragua

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