Last night, over 400 of UNICEF’s Next Generation’s friends and family gathered to view photos capturing UNICEF’s extraordinary work all over the world.
Casey Rotter, UNICEF USA
Going into its third year, UNICEF’s Next Generation is growing strong. Three projects have now been completed -Next Gen has truly made a difference in the lives of children and families in Guatemala, Ethiopia and Haiti.
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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.
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!
I woke up to the most amazing and inspirational breakfast I have ever experienced (the food wasn’t bad either ;). But I am referring to the company! Ten members of the Guatemalan Parliament of Childhood and Adolescence joined us for huevos, frijoles y platanos. Aged 11-19, they are all elected by their indigenous communities to be the voice of their peers. We broke the ice with a song and dance game called “cuchiera y paleta”. Tak tak!
This group speaks to the public and the government about issues that are affecting children in Guatemala (sexual abuse, HIV/AIDs, migration, violence, gangs, malnutrition). They also educate their peers on their rights and work with them to identify and speak out about their problems.They are the future leaders of Guatemala.
Casey Rotter is a development officer at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. On Saturday, February 13, she leaves for a week-long field trip to Guatemala with members of UNICEF’s Next Generation.
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