During my recent visit to Nicaragua I visited the children’s feeding centers to see firsthand nutritional improvements among the children. Several U.S. sixth graders decorated recycled tennis balls that we distributed to the children. I was pleased to observe that the children were more alert, had more energy and had greatly improved hand-eye coordination. It was wonderful seeing how thrilled the kids were these presents.
However, one little girl, Celine, quickly went about gathering balls, and hoarding them in her little arms. She was very reserved, shy, and compelled to keep all of them. I quickly learned that Celine had come to the center through her aunt who was now taking care of her. Unfortunately, her mother had given up her four children because she was unable to take care of them.
At 3 and one-half years, Celine arrived at the feeding center only able to speak two words. She had never known such a thing as three meals a day, but rather if there was any food to be eaten. Now, at four years she is becoming more assured that she will get at least one good meal each day. The staff continues to work closely with her to increase her vocabulary, and to establish trust so that Celine can develop into the beautiful child that is within. I am confident that during my fall trip Celine will have developed by leaps and bounds, physically, mentally, and socially.
Because of your gifts, Celine has a new beginning, as do hundreds of other children. Thank you for being a part our of Self-Help’s efforts to alleviate malnutrition among youngsters.