Child Sponsorship Saves Girl's Life

Jeremy Reis, Tomasa and Maritza in Guatemala.

“Sometimes I think, ‘What if Food for the Hungry (FH) didn’t come in time? Maybe Maritza wouldn’t have lived.’ She was so small.” – Tomasa, 22-year-old mother

It’s so easy to look at  a statistic, and think, “Nothing can be done about that.”

When I heard that a community FH works in, Seoguis, Guatemala, had more than 70 percent chronic malnutrition…and Guatemala as a whole has more than 50 percent chronic malnutrition, I first thought about the intensity of that number.

I can’t imagine if 70 percent of my city had chronic malnutrition.

Not just a statistic

Five months ago, Flora, an FH employee stepped foot into the home of Tomasa and met little Maritza. At the time, Maritza was 13 months old and weighed just over 2 kilograms. To put that into perspective, at around 7 pounds, Maritza weighed less than any of our kids at birth.

Tomasa’s husband is a day laborer who travels away for a month at a time, returning for a week or two before heading out again. He travels so far to find work, he won’t see his family 250 days out of a year. Tomasa is left alone to survive and care for her child. She needed help and support.

Blessings of education

Flora taught Tomasa how to prepare meals for Maritza that would help her with good nutrition. She coached Tomasa on increasing the meals to five small meals a day.

Tomasa also learned proper hygiene and joined both the local savings group and agriculture teams. Tomasa has used the savings group to take out a loan and start her own small business. She’s saved enough money to buy some chickens to provide food for her family and eggs to sell at the market.

Today, Maritza is a healthy 18 month old. She loves to dance to music on the radio.

Seeing good works up close

Over the past year, I’ve read countless stories of how FH helps people around the world. Today, I saw one of those stories in real life.

Here’s the awesome part of the story: Maritza will join the child sponsorship program when she enters school in four years. And while she is not yet in the child sponsorship program, yet her life has changed.

As a child sponsor, you not only help the child you’re sponsoring, but also the community. Tomasa is thankful that FH arrived in time – this was made possible from people like you who invested in the community and helped save Maritza’s life.