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 Health  Mexico Project #30014

Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly

by Atzin Mexico / Atzin Desarrollo Comunitario AC
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Atzin Helps Special Needs of 60 Children & Elderly
Lina helps with math as her community service
Lina helps with math as her community service

Dear Friends of Atzin and Tlamacazapa,

Those readers keen on health and wellbeing may also be interested in education and our recent report on Atzin scholarships awarded from 2001-2018.

THE NUMBERS. A total of 80 individuals from Tlamacazapa received funding for their studies during those years. 65 young people received partial scholarships as cash each month; 15 individuals had full scholarships (with all fees, books and materials, transport and in most cases, room and board). Counting by year, Atzin managed a total of 209 scholarships as many recipients received multi-year awards.

It is an impressive number, especially since each recipient did community service (usually four+ hours per week) – a way of “paying it forward” – which also had to be organized and supervised by Atzin staff.

THE GOOD NEWS. In August 2019, Atzin won grant funding for our education program from the PSM Foundation based in Mexico City. Along with continued donations from loyal supporters, this grant means that this year eight young women in Tlamacazapa now have partial scholarships (7 in junior high; 1 in high school) while four more from Tlamacazapa have partial (2) or full support (2) while studying in Cuernavaca, Morelos.

HELP TO KEEP THIS GOING. Education is vitally important, particularly for those trapped in poverty. Education increases people’s opportunities in life, and as studies have shown, the education of women is correlated with better child nutrition and fewer deaths of children in future. Atzin aims to build up the scholarship awards, contributing to the development of careers of all types.

With sincere thanks as always,

Susan

Links:

Help to lighten her load
Help to lighten her load

Dear Friends of Tlamacazapa and Atzin, 

The sheer amount of firewood carried out of the forest each week came as a surprise. We already knew that gathering firewood for cooking was heavy, constant work, carried out by both men and women, but when we dug deeper into cooking and fuel consumption, our findings were staggering.

In 2017-19 with financing from Rotary Club Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada), Atzin distributed ecological rocket stoves to 300 families trapped in acute poverty and cooking over an open, three-rock fire.Ecological rocket stoves use up to 60% less fuel and emit up to 70% less smoke when compared to cooking over an open fire, thereby reducing consumption of natural resources and toxic smoke inhalation as well as allowing faster cooking time and using just small sticks for fuel. The proper use of a rocket stove frees up considerable time for family members, especially for women cooks - time that can then be spent on other activities and with their children.

To better understand the adoption of the stoves, two young village women interviewed each female household head twice (pre- and post-stove) about family size, cooking practices, and time and quantity of firewood required. This information was then organized into tables and analyzed.

Findings. Of the 300 households (HH) on the pre-stove interview,

  • 223 HHs (74%) invested time and effort to gather firewood, and did not purchase firewood.
  • 40 HHs (13%) gathered firewood and also purchased supplementary firewood.
  • 37 HHs (12%) always purchased their wood and did not make gathering trips to the forest. They spent money on firewood but not any time gathering firewood.

Older youth or men typically carried a load of firewood that weighed between 36 to 41 kg. A total number of 694 trips per week were reported by those families that gathered firewood. Each trip represented one heavy work day of 4-5 hours per person, with each family having a designated people who did this work, either by individually (always men) or in small groups of 2-3 people. 

The 694 trips per week roughly represent 20,820 kilograms being extracted from the forest each week by the 263 HHs, using a conservative weight of 30 kg/load. 

You might want to read that again – 694 trips extracting roughly 20,820 kilograms of firewood each week by only 263 families - just imagine the time and effort involved.

As an affordable and efficient technology, an ecological stove can certainly make a difference, and contribute to the wellbeing of families.

With your support, we can continue to lighten the load for those living in poverty in Tlamacazapa.

 Sincerely, Susan

Links:

"La Espera" (The Wait) by Alejandro Aranda
"La Espera" (The Wait) by Alejandro Aranda

Dear Friends of Atzin's Special Needs Program,

We've painsakingly added up the numbers, checking them twice. Here are the 2018 stats for the Special Needs component of Atzin programs. 

Special Needs and Nutrition Program
This program is aimed at people with special needs, chronic conditions and malnutrition. It provides vitamins and / or medications; help with equipment or special material; accompaniment and help with transportation and costs for medical appointments; provision of supplements; home visits for stimulation and monitoring. (People can appear more than once in the numbers below depending on the benefits received.)

Children and adults who are homebound and receive monthly home visits      19
Children and adults with chronic conditions receiving vitamins
and medicines                                                                                                    30
Children with disabilities attending Tihueslike Education program                      6
People who received a gift (shoes or clothes)                                                    55
People who received dental care                                                                       55
Special cases
Number of women in crisis due to violence housed at Casa Atzin                       1
Number of children with special needs in Casa Atzin                                           2
Number of days with a youth with special needs living in Casa Atzin                81
Patients with appointments and accompaniment by Atzin staff                           5
 - appointments in Cuernavaca                                                                            6
 - appointment in Mexico City                                                                              1
Number of total days of accompaniment by Atzin staff                                       4
Number of nights lodging at Casa Atzin for patients
and their 6 companions                                                                                      2
Home therapies
Number of people receiving therapies at home regularly                                    2
Number of promoters doing home therapy (1 in charge and 2 in training)          3

A complete report on all Atzin programs - by the numbers - is available on the Atzin website. To have a look, go to www.atzin.org. Kindly remember that this report is only "by the numbers," basically counting attendance. The other factors such as quality of care, time and attention, training and supervision of promoters, administration and accounting are just as important, can be really time-consuming and are not reflected here.  

As always, we are grateful for your ongoing support - only with that support can we make everything happen!

Sincerely, 

Susan

Links:

Women walking to Atzin Centre
Women walking to Atzin Centre

In October, a long line of people waited patiently to be attended in our clinic. Berta, a young mother of four children hesitantly entered. Under her black shawl, she cradled six-month-old Jose on her arm. Berta anxiously repeated that Jose had diarrhea constantly and had not gained any weight since his birth. She explained that her husband gathered firewood to sell and that there was no money to take Jose to a specialist as they had been instructed to do on two visits to the village health centre.

I peeked under the shawl: Jose was a shock, barely there, skin and bone. His big eyes locked onto mine; his piercing gaze held me captive. Tears welled up. I breathed deeply, wiped my cheeks and thought, “This child will not die; let’s get started.”

In a matter of minutes, working as a team with Berta, we began: examine and treat Jose’s obvious stomach infection with a simple remedy; get a baseline weight and give Jose vitamins; mother the mother, praising her for breastfeeding; and lower stress in her household with a food package of rice and beans to be prepared at home.

On their next visit a few days later, his stomach infection gone, Berta offered Jose rice cereal – he wolfed it down in a matter of seconds and wanted more. Over the next weeks, she added mashed banana, avocado, cooked carrots and some pureed chicken. After three months Jose weighed 5.4 kg and could sit up by himself. The crisis was over.

Sometimes, the answer to an immediate serious problem is relatively straightforward. Jose lived because his mother persisted in her search for help and never gave up; because he had a strong will to survive; and because the Atzin team responded quickly with caring attention and effective actions.

The truth is, in the midst of so much misery, even a small success is uplifting. Our collective spirit is nourished, and our commitment to loving actions is renewed, strengthening our sense of grace and of hope. This is the gradual building of resilience and the creation of opportunity - the real work of development.

Your support makes that happen.

Until next time, Susan

Areceli interviewing household cook.
Areceli interviewing household cook.

The reality for the poorest families in Tlamacazapa is that if the adults don't work that day, the family doesn't eat. There is literally next to nothing in the kitchen for tomorrow.

Perhaps you, the reader, will say that I am stretching the truth in order to make a point. I wish that I was. This is a hand-to-mouth existence, and explains why so many children abandon their schooling in order to help their families earn money to buy food or do not enroll in school to begin with, or why parents cannot attend to their child with special needs.

This truth came sharply into focus again very recently. In 2017-18 with financing from Rotary Club Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada), Atzin distributed green ecological rocket stoves to 300 families trapped in acute poverty and cooking over an open, three-rock fire.

To better understand the adoption of the stoves, two young village women interviewed the female household head about family size, cooking habits and meal customs. Importantly, they inquired about the food on hand and asked to see it, noting the quantity of every ingredient.

Reviewing the questionaire findings, even the Atzin team was surprised... and dismayed. Half of the families had absolutely no food in the house. Another 25% had only a small amount - a kilo of dried beans, half of a cup of cooking oil or some white rice.

The drastic increase in the price of gasoline - a state-owned business - over the past year has, in turn, driven up the cost of living dramatically throughout the country. Households already struggling to survive are now much more on edge. 

Parents of a child with special needs are now dealing with the higher cost of food AND having to cover the expenses of attention. You are assisting with their transport, medical appointments, vitamins and supplements, and accompaniment. With your support, we aim to do more. 

Thank you, Susan

 

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Organization Information

Atzin Mexico / Atzin Desarrollo Comunitario AC

Location: Cuernavaca, Morelos - Mexico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @N/A
Project Leader:
Susan Smith
Cuernavaca, Mexico
$11,111 raised of $16,000 goal
 
180 donations
$4,889 to go
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