What difference can one person, or even one church, make in the fight against extreme poverty and malnutrition?
The impact can be greater than you might think. Before reading on, watch as a little girl named Natalia, who receives the blessings of child sponsorship in Guatemala, explains how her sponsor changed everything for her, her family, and her entire community:
An Extreme Challenge: Child Malnutrition
In Natalia’s community and many others like it in Guatemala, malnutrition is the biggest challenge families face in their fight to break free from extreme poverty. According to UNICEF, one in two Guatemalan children suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Moms and dads like Natalia’s parents work hard to put food on the table, but often what little food they can afford is poor in quality and lacking in vital vitamins and nutrients. As a result, many children like Natalia become sick with malnutrition, which can cause a variety of health issues, including stunted growth.
Making matters worse, malnutrition often prevents children from being able to stay in school. Because education is so critical to a child’s ability to achieve a brighter future, this only perpetuates the cycle of generational poverty.
“Studies said that we would suffer from malnutrition as our fathers and mothers did, and that we could not continue our education because of it,” Natalia reports in her video. Often, this means children like Natalia never escape poverty, and their own children will be caught in the cycle, suffering as they have.
But in Natalia’s case, the cycle has been broken and the future looks bright. That’s because of the life-changing work FH’s church partners and child sponsors are making possible in Guatemala for Natalia and her community.
Impact of Child Sponsorship in Guatemala
Through the faithful support of her child sponsor, Natalia receives a variety of blessings: Nutritious food, education, clean water, medical care, and much more.
But she’s not the only one! Her sponsor’s compassion doesn’t lift up Natalia alone, but also her entire family and community. This makes it possible for Food for the Hungry to provide gifts that empower Natalia’s mom and dad to better care for her, and enable their whole neighborhood to be a place where she and her friends can grow and thrive.
One gift child sponsorship provided is the home garden that you saw Natalia and her mom tending to in the video.
“Now, my mom prepares the most delicious food in the world for us,” Natalia shares. “In her garden, she grows many vegetables like carrots that I like to eat. That’s why I’m very big and strong now.”
Malnutrition is off the table for Natalia today. Her parents serve her well-balanced meals from the produce of the garden. Additionally, sponsorship provided them chickens to raise. FH taught them better gardening and farming methods, so they now have plentiful crops and flourishing small livestock. Not only can they feed their family well as a result, but they sell the surplus veggies and eggs, and the income makes it possible to pay for other necessities like health care and school supplies. Natalia studies hard in school and is on the path to a radiantly bright future.
The Power of Church Partnerships
In addition to the help provided through child sponsorship that is highlighted in the video, Natalia’s community also has a whole church walking alongside them.
Moved by the love of Christ and His calling to care for the poor, these church partners have made a number of poverty-fighting projects possible, including cultivating family gardens, improving school infrastructure, installing latrines, and delivering relief kits during the pandemic lockdown.
They also exchange encouraging letters with residents of Natalia’s community and pray for them. They may even choose to visit and see first-hand the impact their partnership has made.
One Person, One Church – Everything Changes!
Natalia and her friends are so grateful for the positive impact that church partners and child sponsors have made in their community.
Now, she and her classmates are well-fed, healthy, and making great progress in school. One person and one church can make this kind of incredible transformation possible!