Week of February 5

02-05-2017Haiti News

So, why do feed our school children in Notre Dame de la Merci?

  • 30% of children under the age of five are stunted (low height for age).
  • 19 % are underweight (low weight for age).
  • 10 % of the children are considered wasted (low weight for height).

All three visual clues also mean that the children will eventually suffer from under-development of the brain and cognitive capacity. The meal the children have daily is rich in vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and is tasty. Our goal is to improve their health, concentration in the classroom and prevent diseasesthrough periodic check- ups in the Rose-Merci Clinic.

Our Maternity Center provides pre-natal care for mothers. Education is a key component also as the medical team prepares the mother to care for the newborn.

  • reduce early stunting through improved exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding practices.
  • reduce anemia among pregnant and lactating women as well as children through giving supplements containing iron and deworming
  • address iodine deficiency through supplementation as well as salt iodization.

What more can we do? It is imperative to maintain the daily meals provided to the school children. The cost exceeds $30,000 per year; so much of our budget goes toward this need. We know that for too many children, this is the only meal they may have each day. Most rice and beans are imported and the cost of basic food increases. Droughts have plagued the island the past 3 years due to El Niño. In addition, Hurricane Matthew recently destroyed crops that were almost ready to harvest. We also need to begin providing pre-natal vitamins to pregnant women. Children who are stunted, underweight or wasted are in need ofsupplemental daily vitamins.

As the Gospel reminds us today:"Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." Thank you for your generous support of our Mission to Haiti.