Sunday, May 6, 2012

Steve is Helping Underfed and Malnourished Children

Steve here:

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Red Bank village about 45 minutes south of here. I went with my work partner, Tylon, who is a social worker leading the child nutrition project for our district. We pulled up benches and plastic chairs in the shade of the health post and had a wonderful audience of about thirty mothers and at least that many children. We talked about the nutritional benefits of Incaparina for children, especially during the first two years of life. We also worked with the visiting nurse who talked to the mothers about food preparation for children after weaning.

Community Health Worker is teaching mothers about weaning to
solid food. Mothers in Belize are encouraged to use breast feeding
for at least six months after birth.
We had cookies made from Incaparina to give away at the end of the session, and they were a really big hit. The mothers were hesitant to try the cookies until they saw how popular they were with their kids. We were also able to convince the mothers that the food supplement provided by the nutrition project was a good thing, and we convinced them to accept samples to use in their cooking at home. It wasn't an automatic sell. Just as with the cookies, the moms didn't jump to take the Incaparina. So I stepped up to someone and said, "Would you like to take it home and try it?" She took it, and then others joined in. they all took one, then came back for more. "I have a sister. Maybe I could take one to her." "My neighbor could not come today, but I will take one to her." Some of the mothers took four packages. So we're confident that the program got off to a good start.

On Saturday I was invited to a work project in Hopkins village where a fellow volunteer is assisting a co-op of women to prepare the Sandy Beach Restaurant for re-opening. The women cooked a sit-down lunch for all of us. The meal tells me that the restaurant should do well.

I got to do some woodworking and use my tools! I helped one of their children attach a new brace to a broken picnic table, and I cut boards and helped the ladies put a new top on the table. One of the best parts was getting to speak Garifuna with the women who were all good and patient teachers. 

This is Cathy here with my two-cents worth:

I spent the week at my computer working on the CHW manual. If I do this a lot, that's gonna be a sure-fire way to a BIG BUTT. I make myself get up every hour or so, but it's not enough! My brain gets pretty fried. OK, I'm through with the whining.

One thing I did for fun, was create some paintings for the Sandy Beach Restaurant. They are meant to be crude, rustic looking. I used rough cut board, and put latex wall paint as a background. Then used poster paint to paint in the simple pictures.  Here are a couple. More on the way.

This one will get trimmed and put on the door
of the women's bathroom

Garifuna woman clapping
Last blog entry, I mentioned that my Zumba class is doing well. Mondays we have more than 20, and we dance outside in the school yard. Thursday nights, there are fewer so we can workout/dance inside. Ava took some pictures of our last session. They are a fun bunch - really get into it.

No comments: