“We dream that our daughter grows well, has good development so she can be a good student and have a good profession as a teacher,” shares the mother of six-month-old Belinda.
Belinda is the first child born to two loving parents in Guatemala. She loves to play with her cousins and mom, and she smiles when people play music. Belinda’s father works as a farmer and her mother works at home, cooking and cleaning for the family. Although they both only want the best for her, they do not make enough money to provide her even with one egg, fruit, or vegetable per day - meaning they cannot afford the diet she requires to overcome malnutrition.
Due to malnourishment, Belinda is far too small for her age. She has not had access to an adequate diet, and has been deprived of the protein, calories, and nutrients that she needs to grow normally. This lack of calories has left her immune system weak, meaning she is more susceptible to getting fevers, coughs, and diarrhea, all of which are life-threatening to malnourished children.
In the past two weeks alone, Belinda has suffered from a severe cold and cough, which takes away her appetite and energy. Belinda’s mom is worried because she has noticed that she isn’t growing as well as the other kids in the neighborhood. In the future, Belinda could be at risk of stunted neurodevelopment, a low IQ, difficulty focusing, and a greater risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes - all of which make it less likely she could finish school and get a good job.
Growth monitoring, micronutrients, food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Belinda gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age. This treatment will be done by doctors at Wuqu’ Kawoq, Watsi’s medical partner. Immediate treatment will have a large impact—she will likely be able to reach developmental milestones just like healthy kids her age, setting her up for a healthy and full life.
This treatment, which costs $512 to complete, will strengthen Belinda’s immune system, increase her overall caloric intake, and make it so she has more energy to play and learn. Her parents will receive the support to give their daughter the diet she needs to grow and develop; they will receive intense and motivational nutrition classes to learn what, when, and how to feed Belinda the best diet possible on a budget. This will help Belinda start to develop better both physically and mentally, giving her the chance to live a healthy and productive life.