Meet Melany, a 20-month-old baby from Guatemala. Melany is the youngest of three children in her family and lives with her parents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. She enjoys playing with her dolls and her stuffed animals. Her mother works at home, cooks, cleans, and takes care of the children. Her father is a day laborer in the fields, who makes only a couple dollars per day.
Due to malnutrition, Melany is below the average height and the average weight for her age. She currently is not consuming enough calories and enough quality foods. As a result her physical growth is stunted, and we worry her mental growth will be stunted as well.
As a result of food insecurity and marginalization, indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world. In addition to growth stunting, malnutrition can lead to lower IQ, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
$512 will fund the treatment Melany needs to address her nutritional deficit and improve her low energy and subsequent limited mental potential. This involves micronutrient and food supplementation, deworming medication to rid Melany of a parasitic infection, and nutrition education for her parents. With these combined efforts, Melany will recoup her weight and height and strengthen her immune system, laying the foundation for a healthier future.