Celebrating 31 Years
1986 - 2017
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Project Salvador
                                                     a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
                                                TAX ID #: 84-1207953

Proyecto Los Niños Health Promoters

 

"We are here to serve."


 

 For more information, contact Patty Lawless by sending her an email by clicking at the following envelope:




Proyecto Los Niños Report

by Sister Isabel, Carmelite Missionary (translated from Spanish)


History


5-Our Proyecto Los Niños monthly donors continue to sustain the Nutrition Program for Children and Senior Citizens in the parish of Plan del Pino serving 70 children and 130 seniors in various stages of malnutrition.  Funding covers the cost of basic foodstuffs and a Saturday morning medical clinic at the parish.




On behalf of the Carmelite Missionaries and each of the beneficiaries, we thank you for the support you have given to the program. Without your help we would

not reach as many people as we have.



During these past months, we have provided the basic basket of food (beans, rice, lentils, milk, oil) every 15 days to a group of 81 children and 99 adults who are poor, sick, or disabled. We continue with medical and psychological appointments, both for preventative and curative measures. Upon showing symptoms of an illness, children and adults have received medical attention so as to prevent the sicknesses from become severe. We are keeping an eye on the most prevalent illnesses in each age group. The most severe cases in need of a psychologist receive that assistance so that they can achieve sound mental health. A healthy mind increases esteem and love of life with dignity. On a preventative level, we take weight and height measurements for nutritional controls. We seek that along with rice and beans, the beneficiaries receive milk and oil at least once a month.


Each Saturday we provide educational presentations and during the past few months we have also strengthened our occupational therapy program for older adults, teaching them how to make piñatas. This provides them with the

opportunity to develop mental skills and manual dexterity. During the refreshment break they have the opportunity to talk a bit among themselves. We provide mothers with children an opportunity to learn how to make imitation jewelry. This gives them both the mental stimulation and the opportunity to learn a skill that

could provide them with a source of income. Adolescent children of these mothers are also given training that hopefully will make them think about looking for

income generating opportunities during their free time. Each year there are two general assessments. The next ones will be held on May 19th for children and on May 26th for adults.


By making economic adjustments we were able to repair the dental equipment

and hope to begin offereing affordable dental treatment starting May 16th. We will have a teeth cleaning campaign, by groups, which will facilitate making dental diagnoses for the children and elderly who are beneficiaries of the program.


In order to include new beneficiaries we have always relied on the medical evaluation. When a child or adult has reached good nutrition levels they have

been excluded from the program, but some eventually fall back due to poverty or sudden illness. As a result, we have not eliminated anyone from the program

since April, rather, numbers have increased.


In order to include new beneficiaries we have always relied on the medical

evaluation. When a child or adult has reached good nutrition levels they have

been excluded from the program, but some eventually fall back due to poverty

or sudden illness. As a result, we have not eliminated anyone from the

program since April, rather, numbers have increased. The volunteer health

promoters frequently visit homes especially to those where there are older

people not able to move on their own.


Medical and psychological consults are held on Saturdays from 8:30am to 12:00pm. The main health concerns found during medical consultations were:



Children

Adults

  • Malnutrition

  • Respiratory Illness

  • Viral infections (Malaria, Dengue, others

  • Parasites

  • Diarhea

  • Scabies

  • Anemia

  • Hypertension

  • Diabetes

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Irritable bowle syndrome

  • Arthritis

  • Dermatological issues



For many Salvadoran families life is a quite hard. The socio economic condition of the beneficiaries is of poverty or extreme poverty. Some houses are made of tin, others of mixed construction built by USAID. Some individuals are immobile due

to their age, others are in wheelchairs, etc.


Thank you!

With the help that you annually provide, we are able to sustain the program and maintain the nutritional care of the enrolled children and adults, and continue to include additional individuals.




Project Salvador has been supporting the Nutrition Project at Plan del Piño parish in Ciudad Delgado on the outskirts of San Salvador since July 2005. We receive a written report every six months on the status of the project. In May 2010 I met with Carmelite Sister Maria Cristina and several of the health promoters to hear from them directly how the project has been going for the past year.

 

 

“I came to the parish with a child who had been orphaned. I was looking for some help. Sr. Isabel invited me to help out, to participate. She said they needed a

health promoter in my community for the Nutrition Project.” Rosaelia has been a health promoter in her community for two years now. “We are serving God. This is what we must do, serve and do God’s work. I spent so many years closed up in

my house, not knowing that one can serve others.”

 

 

Two other health promoters, Maria Julia and Marta Lidia, both originally came to the clinic afraid that their small children were malnourished; they were, and they

got signed up for the program. At the same time they were recruited by Sr. Isabel

to be health promoters in their communities.

 

 

Maria Julia has been at it for 11 years now. “I am happy to be able to serve the parish and the community. We are here to serve.” She drops her gaze for a moment as she continues, “Last year I started to have problems in my

community.” Before she even says it, I knew she was referring to gang members—a problem of catastrophic proportions in El Salvador (see sidebar on next page). Maria Julia confirms my supposition, and continues on to say, “but I love this work and I am able to continue to visit my children and my seniors. I cannot abandon them.”

 

 

The health promoters are all volunteers. They give of their time not only to visit

the people in their community, but also to be trained in a variety of topics that help them to be effective in their work: basic first aid, personal hygiene, dental care, nutrition, pregnancy and postnatal health, common illnesses for both adults and children, and natural medicines and how to use them correctly. They also give

talks on these topics to program participants at the clinic every couple weeks.

 

 

Being able to help people be healthy is a huge benefit of this ministry for Emilia, who has been with the program since it started thirteen years ago. “In the t

rainings we learn things that we can use and teach people to do. Some of the

older people complain about cramping and I never knew how to help them out. Then I learned in a training that hot water packs relieve cramps. Now I am able to help a lot of people.”

 

 

The Nutrition Project continues to address the nutrition needs of 80 children

(mostly ages 0-6) and 140 senior citizens in the 16 communities that make up the parish. Participants are identified by a cadre of 11 health promoters who visit the people in their community keeping watch for signs of malnutrition. Once a person

is signed up for the program they have access to a weekly Saturday clinic, including medical care and psychological services. They are also eligible for basic food supplies every other Friday (including rice, corn, beans and powdered milk or oil or sugar), for a small fee ($1).

 

 

Twice a year, all participants are given a full physical and their state of

malnutrition is re-evaluated. When they reach their target weight, they “graduate” out of the program! For many, this takes years.

 

 

Project Salvador funds this project through our own “Save the Children”-type sponsorship program. Donors make a monthly pledge of $25, but rather than sponsoring one child, they sponsor the program. With our current pledges, we are able to fund 70% of the doctor’s salary ($100) and $150 for basic food supplies every month. Additional sponsors would make it possible to expand this support. For more information, contact Patty Lawless by sending her an email by clicking

at the following envelope:

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