Casey Rotter is a development officer at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. She is on a week-long field trip to Guatemala with members of UNICEF’s Next Generation.
Yesterday we arrived at a women’s health clinic in San Cristobal just in time for a nutrition counselling session for mothers. The session at the San Andres Xecul clinic was held outside, and all the women wore beautiful traditional clothing, carrying their children on their backs or holding their hands.
|Casey Rotter, U.S. Fund for UNICEF/2010|
|A mother attending the nutrition session at San Andres Xecul clinic funded by Unicef and Unicef’s Next Generation. She has brought her child’s “carnet” which tracks her weight, height and whether she has been given vitamin A and Sprinkles.|
They played a learning game similar to ‘hot potato,’ only with an egg. Whoever was holding the egg when the drum stopped would have to answer a question. The counselor asked, “what is the importance of folic acid during pregnancy?”
-”Healthy development of the baby” the mother replied.
-”Is she right?”
All the mothers clapped and yelled “Siii!” and the game began again.
After the game we asked the mothers about Sprinkles (also called chispitas or microvitals). Our questions were translated into both Spanish and the mayan language, Kiche, so all the women could understand us. One mother told us Sprinkles “makes our children healthy.They have energy now, they have appetites and they aren’t sick all the time.”
We observed the monthly weight monitoring. I helped a mother measure her daughter’s height and I placed a 4-month-old on the scale to be weighed.
“All looks great!” the doctor smiled. I can’t describe how that moment felt.
We saw doctors handing out Sprinkles packets to the mothers and we learned that Next Generation’s $175,000 donation for Sprinkles will help this very clinic! Next Gen’s fundaising and donations will allow this clinic to hire more (much needed) staff, train staff, provide needed measuring equipment and mas Sprinkles for these families AND thanks to Next Gen we will be able to provide for even more families!
Muchas gracias Next Generation!