We use the local language to empower families.
It has been an extremely exciting year. We just finished a clinical research study understanding the effects of chronic malnutrition on child development. We are working hard right now to analyze the data and in our next report we will have results. The early information is showing that children who suffer from chronic malnutrition learn to talk much later than other children, and we believe that can have lasting effects on their overall growth as a person.
I'd like to share a recent quote from our nutrition technician who works everyday with children and their families. Our staff is the driving force of our work. Without their dedication, hard work and skill, we would not be able to acheive our resuts. We are proud that our staff find this work as a calling to help their communities, it not only a job to clock in and clock out. Our staff, like Yoli, speak the local language of the communities in order to provide the best care. Yoli speaks Kaqchikel Maya during all visits with patients and their families.
We would like to teach you a Kaqchikel work: Wa'im (pronounced Why-Em with a long E). It means food, or meal time. It is a word that Yoli uses everyday to work with her patients and families.
Words from Yoli:
“The families we help have enough trust in us and this motivates us a lot because we realize the reality of each family, at the same time joking with them and chatting about topics outside the range of our work. In this way they de-stress and comment that no one offers them services when they need them most.” -Yoli, Wuqu’ Kawoq Nutrition Technician
One of the patients that Yoli has worked with is Melany.
When we met Melany she was 14-months-old. She was suffereing from being underweight and very small for her age due to malnutrition. This dangerous condition is becaus her family does not have enough protein, calories, and nutrients to provide her.
In the short term, malnutrition means Melany has little energy to grow. Her immune system is weak, leaving her vulnerable to illnesses that further compromise her growth. She may also face malnutrition’s long-term consequences, such as increased risk of chronic diseases, low IQ, and higher likelihood of dropping out of school.
Melany lives with her family in a one-room house with a tin roof. She loves to play with her balls and baskets. Her father works as a day laborer, harvesting crops on a local plantation. Her mother takes care of her, cooking and cleaning.
While Melany’s parents want the best for their daughter, their resources are already stretched thin. They cannot afford the proper food necessary for Melany to grow well.
While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. We are so happy that do to your support we can provide Melany with the treatment and help she needs to grow!
Growth monitoring, micronutrients and food supplementation have helped Melany grow. She has gained weight and grown during her treatment with us. Our community health worker, Yoli, has taught her mother how to create a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources.
Thank you for your continued, incredible support. I look forward to updating you on the details of our research very soon.
Yoli, Nutrition Technician