Our latest journey to Guatemala was amazing. It was HARD but we accomplished SO much that my heart is full.
I made a list of what we accomplished in Senahu. It is not complete, so please let me know what you can add to the list. This was one of the most successful expeditions I have been on because of the diverse work that was done.
Before I list, I want to thank Gordon Hamm for getting all the arrangements made for us. We usually have much waiting time for taxis, buses or people or items to arrive but due to Gordon’s great connections down there we were on the go all the time. He deserves high praise for putting this together!
Now for the list. Yes, you have to read it all the way through. They are not in order by time, but a random listing.
1. The Kimball family and McKay Bowman are still in Telemon, Guatemala, They have started a project of building chicken coops and furnishing chickens for many poor families. I think 20.
2. One day a man stood outside the hotel for 30 minutes. We finally asked him what we could do to help. He was a worried father with a sick child and wanted help to pay for medicine for his sick daughter. It cost only about $4. I walked with him to the Pharmacia and we purchased the medicine. After giving me a handshake of gratitude and a relieved mind, he took off running for his home
3. A mother and father brought their sick 8 year old to us. She was malnourished, but they told us that she broke her arm a year ago and since then has lost weight. They wanted us to buy some Incaperina, formula, sugar and some medicine. The medical clinic told them she did not have parasites but could not explain the steady loss of weight. I held the little girl and she was nothing but skin and bones. We bought everything they requested. I received a sad phone call yesterday from Senahu telling me that the little girl died on Sunday. Heart breaking news.
4. We provided money to buy in bulk, corn, beans, rice and other staples for 12 families. Our group then divided into sacks the food purchased. The local minister delivered the food to the 12 poor families and many tears of gratitude were shed. Even the minister was brought to tears when he saw how desperately the food was needed. We hope the food will last for a month.
5. Ashley Hamm, Gordon’s daughter, has a favorite widow in the mountains out of Senahu. She has 6 children and all were sleeping on dirt floors. 3 beds were built out of wood and delivered. Delivery was a challenge because we had to carry the beds up into the steep mountains.
6. When the beds were delivered, Scott Terry noticed she had chickens in a chicken coop in here kitchen area. On Friday, Scott decided to buy her some chicken feed. He and 2 others again went into the mountains and delivered the chicken feed. Delivery again was a challenge.
7. We were approached by one of the ministers to see if we could help with a funeral. They don’t embalm so a vault needs to be constructed of cement block. Building materials were purchased from the lumber yard and the minister and 2 others constructed the vault that day.
8.Gordon Hamm has a special family that had roof problems. He furnished materials to cure the leaks and roof problems.
9. We brought 6 wheel chairs with us. We gave them to 6 different chapels for use for those in need.
10. One wheel chair was used for a small girl with serious birth defects. Cherish, a physical therapist, used cushions she had brought to make the wheelchair more comfortable and serviceable for the little girl. Cherish worked with the family to try to show them exercises that would increase the child’s mobility.
11. Jordan Terry, for his Eagle Scout project, provided flouride treatment to over 800 children in 6 different locations. Each child got a tooth brush and tooth paste. Many boys received wood cars and the girls jump ropes and little dolls They loved them!
12. An eye chart and 400 pairs of glasses were brought. A simple eye exam was given to more than 200 adults and 122 glasses were given away. Mostly reading glasses. It was so fun to watch as people tried on the glasses until they finally were able to see.
13. Austin Lloyd, for his Eagle project, organized and cleanup contest between 2 schools. Over 200 students were provided with big trash bags and given certain areas to cleanup. 2 trash barrels were purchased and donated to the city. Trash is a big problem and we hope this will increase the awareness to keep things clean.
14. After the cleanup, 2 computers and 2 laptops that Austin had brought were donated to the poorest school.
15. Jay Garff, for his Eagle project, provided funds to build 5 book shelves for a non-existent library in Senahu. The local students in the metal school worked to build the shelves. He also brought 500 books to start the library. Before we left they had 3 shelves built. Senahu now has a library.
16. Gordon Hamm has a wonderful relationship with the police department. He visited with them and they said their only police car was broken. We offered to fix if it didn’t cost too much. We paid $113 to get an analysis but the total cost was more than our budget could handle.
17. We donated some school supplies to one of the poor schools.
18. McKay Bowman, a tall basketball player, set up a basketball and soccor camp. He had some basketballs and lots of kids came to participate. He left 4 basketballs there at one of the chapels.
19. We had taken 500 religious Christian pictures with us. We gave them to 6 different chapels for their church libraries.
20. We delivered medical supplies to the local clinic. Bandages, needles, sterilizer lotion.
21. We brought a used nebulizer. The little clinic was delighted because their nebulizer had broken 2 days before. Yes, a small miracle that we would bring a nebulizer!
22. A group of our volunteers assisted in preparing ground for another school room at a poor school.
23. Austin Lloyd, while attending church, noticed that an elderly man was there with no shoes. He gave the elderly man his shoes. Amazing that they just fit.
24. Extra Sunday ties were given to missionaries to replace old boring ties.
25. Our 10 suitcases we brought were given to the local minister.
26. At a technological school, mostly teens, were provided flouride treatment. As we left, we sang “I am a child of God.” They then sang their national anthem to us. It is one long song. Great to see them be so patriotic.
27. We rented a chicken bus from Senahu to pick us up at the airport. We allowed 15 people from Senahu to ride down from Senahu to Guatemala City to attend a special religious ceremony that they could not afford to attend. We paid for their hotel and meals. They rode back with us to Senahu and it added to our wonderful experience in Guatemala.
28. Brad Aldrich, a landscape artist, helped local artists paint a mural on the medical center reception room wall.
29. Once we have finalized our donations and expenses, we hope to pay for a concrete floor in an unfinished medical clinic building.
30. Cherish Lloyd did some wonderful physical therapy on many people, old and young. She provided training to others on how to help those that are in need of physical therapy. I hope she writes back and lists all those she helped. The needs for her help there is great and I was beginning to worry that she might decide to stay forever.
31. One young father during the eye exams was dealing with serious eye problems. His daughter was also born with similar eye problems. Cornea transplants and cataracts. We hope to get help for both of them.
I KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST. HELP ME ADD TO IT. THANKS FOR BEING SUCH GREAT VOLUNTEERS!!! IT WAS ONE OF MY MOST SUCCESSFUL EXPEDITIONS I HAVE BEEN ON.
BE GOOD AND DO GOOD.
KSL Report about Charity Anywhere Foundation helping those in India.
With help from a local nonprofit called the Charity Anywhere Foundation, the Benedicts started putting a team together to travel to India. They now have more than a dozen people committed to go.
The fire did very little damage to our inventory. We have found a new place on redwood road. We are planning to move next Tues and Wed, March 12-13. We can use your help. Bring your pickups and trailers. Bill has offered 2 of his trailers. The new warehouse is about 1 mile from the old warehouse. I will be at the old warehouse at 8 am on Tuesday. If you can help after work, 5 pm we will still be working. Hope many can showup to make short work of the move. Same schedule on Wed.
BE GOOD AND DO GOOD.
1. How long has the program been running?
We started in one village – San Nicolas – following a visit there by a CAF dentist group in 2006, who were struck by the levels of malnutrition and
offered to fund a nutrition programme there. A year or so later we moved the programme to the town of Senahu, operating it partnership with the health
centre to reach the most severely malnourished children from the all the region.
2. What measurable results have we seen? Life expectancy increases? (I need concrete statistical data)
Children are referred to the programme by healthworkers and weighed with interview every 2 months. They leave the programme when they reach normal weight (for their height) and stabilise there. We have full excel data from the start of 2011, which we use to chart the child’s progress. For other purposes we
hope to be able to analyse the data. E.g. establish monthly average increases in response to new protocols. We also take before/after pics (I will send some).
How do we measure our success? Do we coordinate our efforts with any other non-profits or NGOs in the area? Can I look up data on the World Health Organization’s website?
Success is measured by:
1) Achieving healthy weights and maintaining them for 6 months, according to WHO standards
2) Rate of relapses/readmissions – <1% (factor influenced by education also received as part of the programme).
We work with:
1) Senahu town health centre (Ministry of Health)
2) Nutritional Recovery Centre, La Tinta Hospital
3) Referring doctors on both sites
4) Community Facilitators (employed by NGO subcontractors to the government) and nurses in the communities
3. How many families do we serve? How many villages?
In total we currently have 320 children from 87 communities served in five programme locations.
4. What do we want for the future?
1)To have in Senahu a nutrition training centre (there is not one nutritionist for the population of 80,000) where:
- Women can drop in as opposed to having to walk/travel up to four hours and then wait several more hours in our day clinics.
- Where we will have more time to interview and establish the causes of malnutrition in the family
- Where we can give demonstrations of what to grow and how to prepare nutritious food, as well as general health education
- Where we can store the products in a rodent-free environment
2) In the medium term:
- To have all “places” funded as CAF do (180 children) – on a continuing commitment, even more pressing need for the milk programme.
- To have better education tools – have three films and need to produce four more on subjects fundamental to the family’s health
- To have more outreach workers – currently only one, who serves 17 communities: 51 families
3) In the short term:
- a vehicle for the outreach worker
- a small generator to be able to show the education films in community health posts (they don’t have electricity).
5. What exactly do we give to the families? Is it just the formula? Or do we give them other supplies?
We have four integrated programmes:
- Milk for up to 6m old whose mothers have died in child birth or have no milk, and babies with cleft palates
- Incaparina % sugar for up to 5 year olds, and emergency malnourished/anaemic expectant mothers
- Health education via films in Q’eqchi’, and group talks where there is no electricity
- Outreach training in hygiene, sanitation, nutrition etc, where children don’t improve due to conditions at home
6. Is this only in the Senahu area?
Senahu and La Tinta, which consist of several hundred communities.