Sunday, July 20, 2008

Want To Help?

We, the Peace Corps volunteers in the Kenedougou region of Burkina Faso, need your help! We are working in affiliation with a local NGO called SOS Enfants to raise funds to distribute Mosquito Nets to orphans, vulnerable children, and pregnant women in our region. Not only are the mosquitoes here annoying, but their malaria affects at least one member of every household and kills hundreds of children per year. Please help us by donating: $5 per net, easy-to-do online steps, and tax deductable.

For more information, and to give, go to this link: http://www.againstmalaria.com/Fundraiser.aspx?FundRaiserID=4352

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Feeding Babies

Tomorrow is the last day of the Hearth Model program I've been working on over the past weeks, so I thought I'd give everyone at home a quick look at what's going on with that. I've mentioned it before, but essentially I've been meeting each morning with a group of 12 mothers and their malnourished infants. We prepare an enriched porridge together, feed the kids, and then do some health education stuff. Topics have focused a lot on nutrition, and how to use cheap local ingredients to provide for their children. We also covered hygiene, childhood illnesses, family planning, and other applicable health issues, all of which are tied in together when it comes to malnutrition and general health. Particularly with food prices skyrocketing all over the world right now, it was answering a really large need in the community. Without further ado, pictures!

My ladies preparing the morning porridge. Seeing as it's mango season and a lot of the kids dont get nearly enough fruits and veggies, this porridge has fresh mangos, corn flour, and peanut powder. It was the babies' favorite and one mom even asked me if was ok for her to eat it too.

My neighbor Cory from a village nearby came and helped out for the day, resulting in lots of pictures of me looking a little peeved. And shiny, apparently (hey, its a long bike ride for me to get there).
Cute little Ibrahim. I've kind of forgotten what healthy fat babies look like, because so few here are well-nourished. Hopefully during my follow-up over the next couple months, I'll see kids like Ibrahim put on some weight and get some more energy. Tomorrow is the final weighing, so I'll be able to see how much progress was made during the past couple weeks. Several moms have already commented that their kids have bigger appetites now, more energy, and feel heavier when they lift them up, so that's encouraging.

Arrival back at home at the end of the morning. I took advantage of having Cory there to take a little family portrait, minus my host parents who were in the fields at the time. Baby Abbas (with weird makeup on that day), neighbor kid Brah who needs a new shirt, little bro Aziz and sister Safiatou. Big happy sweaty family.
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