Dear Mil Milagros Amigos-
As we approach the end of 2013, we are thrilled to share an update on our progress. Over the last three months, Mil Milagros staff and partner communities have been engaged in planning meetings, school graduations, and our annual gathering of mother and grandmother leaders.
With your help this year, we fed 829 children, worked with 459 mother and grandmother volunteers to ensure a healthy meal each school day, helped instill healthy hygiene habits, provided fluoride varnish treatments to all school-aged children with the help of 30 mother volunteers who we trained to apply the varnish, reduced the likelihood that over 200 babies and small children will suffer from chronic malnutrition, and launched classes to teach our teachers how to teach English to their students.
Because Mil Milagros’ goal is to ensure that all children in Guatemala graduate from sixth grade healthy, literate, and prepared to continue their education, attending graduations in October (the school year in Guatemala is from January to October.) is an exciting time for MM and our partner communities. According to USAID, only 40% of Guatemalans graduate from sixth grade. Over the last three years, 96% of sixth graders in MM’s partner schools have graduated.
In late October and early November, Mil Milagros staff organized meetings with our partner communities to plan for a successful 2014. We met with parents, teachers, principals, and town council members to unite forces around our shared goal of improving the health and education of the children. In each community, we asked for recommendations and feedback. One mother leader responded, “Mil Milagros has helped our community a lot. There are a lot of children who don’t have anything to eat at home, but they come to school and get a healthy lunch and can learn better.”
Finally, last week we held a gathering of 53 of our volunteer mother and grandmother leaders to thank them for their partnership, to celebrate their dedication to their children and communities, and to think about how we can be as successful as possible in 2014. Mothers played games, created their own conflict resolution skits, learned new recipes, and shared their dreams for 2014. One of our mother leaders shared, “I want every child to be able to eat fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods. I want them to be able to drink clean water and be healthy.”
Mil Milagros thanks you for working with us to help make this dream come true.