At least 90% of Guatemala’s water is contaminated by fecal matter. Waterborne diseases are among the leading killers of children under 5. Another common cause of death is related to smoke inhalation, as mothers cook on open fires inside an unventilated kitchen.
We offer Sawyer water filters that remove bacteria, parasites, and viruses. They filter over 170 gallons a day, lasting a family 10 years.
To prevent lung disease and death we construct clean-air stoves. These stoves have a chimney that direct harmful smoke out of the kitchen and require significantly less wood. The mothers involved in our program receive a water filter and stove as part of their commitment.
Community members are being built new block homes with roofs that don’t leak, toilets that flush, and kitchens that ventilate. These homes are built with local workers, keeping jobs in the hands of Guatemalan men fighting to provide for their family.
We will continue to facilitate education on sanitation, safe water, and stoves. As community members empower one another with this education, more needs will be identified and addressed.
If the community does not identify their own needs, the solution will lack ownership and sustainability.
The mothers in our program commit to a weekly, two-hour class.
The classes utilize an internationally used and recognized curriculum called, Community Health Education. We focus on breastfeeding techniques, infant care, and health promotion. The course content moves in conjunction will the ages of the infants.
A local woman in our village has been apprenticing and now can teach the classes independently. We facilitate the empowerment of local women raising their babies up in health.
The final segment of class is group Bible study. This partnership through the baby’s first year of life allows us to walk alongside these mothers and disciple them. Sharing the gospel and rooting these mothers in the truth of Jesus Christ is the reason we exist. We will not allow acts of mercy to substitute genuine evangelism and discipleship.
Our mom-baby partnership program includes high-quality medical care as we revive their starving bodies.
Our medical director is a Guatemalan pediatrician that offers excellent care to our infants. The program includes an immediate initial exam with lab work so we may combat parasites, anemia, or other ailments commonly coexisting with malnutrition.
The program also includes monthly well-checks where needed support is identified such as physical therapy. An infant’s history of malnutrition can often lead to delayed development. We, therefore, offer weekly onsite physical therapy with an excellent, local therapist.
Our program also provides vouchers to see our pediatrician in his clinic free of charge. This empowers a mother to make decisions about her baby’s health and seek care independently.
For those families outside of our program, we continue to work faithfully to link them to local healthcare resources.
We are currently piercing the darkness with 31 babies. Our most malnourished infants have almost doubled their weight in the first month of the program, seeing an average weight gain of 88%.
We launch community-wide infant screenings. Our combination of mid-upper- arm circumference, height and weight z-scores, and family interviews allow the most vulnerable babies to be identified.
Those malnourished babies identified join our mom-baby partnership program where we nourish these babies through their first year of life.
Our community health and development program exists to revive starving babies and rescue downtrodden souls in the name of Jesus.