It has been a very exciting 3 months. We just learned that the Mathile Institute will provide Shoulder to Shoulder with funding to continue our Nutrition Project for six more months. So, instead of ending on August 30, 2018….we can now continue the project until February 2019. In order to do that, we need to match the Mathile Institute funds.
Along with distributing the Chispuditos product, we just started to provide nutritional education to the mothers and fathers in our program. Thanks to the generosity of Jessica Minesinger (one of the members of our Board of Directors), Community Health workers now have a nutrition curriculum to use. We are hopeful that this education will also help to improve the health of the children in our program. Families lack information about good nutrition, and many children fill up on sugary drinks and salty snacks. We believe that change comes through knowledge!
Ana Gisela, the Coordinator of Shoulder to Shoulder's Micronutrient Program (MANI), waited anxiously for a week. Everyday, she waited for the phone call that would tell her that the Chispuditos were on their way. Why so much anxiety? Well, when you have 16,800 bags of micronutrients traveling by truck from Guatemala to remote Honduras, over dirt roads, you tend to worry about whether they'll arrive or not. But, finally, they did arrive! Then, there was the challenge to get the huge truck through the gate at the clinic. Challenge was overcome, and the bags were finally at the clinic site.
Next, there is the challenge to distribute the Chispuditos. These 16,800 bags will be enough for 2 distributions -- in April and July. All through the month of April, 18 Community Health Workers will be distributing 1/2 of the truck load (that is, 8,400 bags) to the 2,800 children in the program.
It takes lots of organizational skills to ensure that all these bags get into the homes of 2,800 needy children. But, Gisela and her team are up to the task!
There is something so right, welcoming, and warming about being met by a child’s smile. It is also seemingly so natural for a child to smile. I suppose it is because life is so fresh and wondrous for a child. Each new moment and new encounter is the opportunity of discovery and joy. It is promising, hopeful, a moment of trust, and a time of engagement. Perhaps as we grow older and experience disappointment and even betrayal, we lose the capacity to be fully engaged. But somehow a child’s smile touches anew upon our hopes and our dreams. But some children simply don’t smile. I’ve found them among those who are malnourished. Their willingness to trust, their openness to engage, has already been lost to life without joy. This is such a tragedy. If anyone should smile, it is a child.
I am told by those who first encountered these two children on their first visit to begin the nutrition supplement “Chispuditos,” that they weren’t smiling. In fact they were distant, hidden, fading away from life. But on a future visit, when this photo was taken, they were in the forefront. How easy it is to restore hope, to inspire engagement! All things can be overcome when you can be engaged with your world, and a child knows this innately. How much good we can do for our world simply by investing in the birth of a smile.
We are fortunate this year that our nutritional program is up and running. It is funded until the end of this session. We have managed to bring some costs down and we have wed the nutrition program to our clean water program. We are helping to keep more children healthy and free from retarding, chronic diseases. Unfortunately, it will only last while we are able to fund it. We so greatly appreciate your assistance. If you can find us others, we can continue to make these smiles flourish.
Project reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you can recieve an email when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports without donating.