Sponsored mothers in the 6-legged race!
The end of the year was an exciting time for the Maternal Child Health Program! To celebrate a successful 2015, project staff hosted two year-end retreats: one for sponsored mothers and their children, and one for our Family Planning Champions. Maternal Child Health Program Manager, Vilma Mendoza, told us the retreats are her favorite events, since they bring together all the groups of women that do not normally get to interact during the year.
During the first retreat, sponsored mothers and their children enjoyed a fun-filled morning. The women participated in a relay with balloon games, a sack race, blind baby food taste-testing, and a three-legged race. Afterwards, they shared what they had learned over the year and ate a delicious meal, and the children received small holiday gifts. Vilma told us, “The women were very happy, and with smiles from ear to ear!”
The Family Planning Champions retreat was a quieter, but equally joyous event. Our ten 2015 champions wrapped up a successful year, sharing the most important things they had learned and sharing with the group how participating in the project has impacted their lives.
Now, project staff are excited to begin a new year! So far this year, sponsored mothers have participated in two workshops, and will participate in many more this year. The themes they learn about range from hygiene and sanitation, to proper spacing of births and reproductive anatomy, to managing family finances.
The new year also means new women participating in the projects, since seven sponsored mothers will graduate and our 2015 campeonas will move on. To select new sponsored mothers, project staff visit pregnant mothers in surrounding communities to share about the program’s benefits. Then they conduct interviews with interested mothers to decide, giving priority to first time mothers or those with risky pregnancies. For the Family Planning Champions, project staff look first to sponsored mothers in the final stage of the program, and also ask former campeonas to refer interested women they know.
We are excited to welcome more women to our Maternal Child Health Program this year! Judging by the success of 2015, there are a lot of good things to look forward to.
Blind taste test!
Mothers resting at the retreat
Antonia, a 2015 campeona, discusses her experience