We are into a new year. We have said goodbye to some of our Embrace children and welcomed new ones into the program. Many of our sponsors that had a child graduated have graciously taken on a new child, to begin the recuperation process all over and we so appreciate their willingness to do so.
We have made some changes in 2018 and I will share those with you briefly. For 10 years we have contracted someone to do all of the food purchases and preparation of the food bags. We are going to go back to doing it as we did in the early years of Embrace; covering all of that from our Embrace office. This will give us a little more ability to choose what we put in the bags monthly and put in a little more variety. We also are buying wholesale and so should be able to put in a little more food. This will mean that we will utilize the in-coming teams more to do the weighing of milk, vegetables, beans and also to put the bags together when possible.
January and February are our “health care months”. We have found this to be so helpful in finding different health problems in the children. Our Embrace children can freely go to our ministry clinic as they choose, and many take advantage of that. But for this push, to assure the health care of our Embrace children, it is mandatory for everyone to participate. In January every child gave urine and stool samples and they are sent to the lab. This will show what children have parasites that our parasite treatments don’t cover and will also reveal other problems. In February every child will receive a physical by a Guatemalan doctor and we have always discovered issues with some children that we would not have known about otherwise. We can’t help the children if we don’t know what problem they may have; so, these months of really focusing on their health are very important.
The children were also weighed and evaluated for their nutritional levels in January. I want to try to explain something concerning that. We recently made up new charts to show the “color” that gives a rating of how they are doing nutritionally. The chart was originally done in kilos and then converted to pounds (1 kilo = 2.2lbs). Without getting too technical, the conversion was done correctly but then “someone” decided that our charts were wrong because they didn’t include every number for pounds. Having the “round off” basically gave a quarter lb. extra to every kilo, it means that you do skip some numbers on the pounds. All to say, that we have been evaluaing the children to be in better nutritional levels than they really are, and I thought I better mention that in case you notice that your child has “slipped back” a bit. It is due to the error in the chart that we have been using for the last year or two; but we do have it correctly now.
Thank you again for making a difference in the lives of these precious children. Our target area is known as the “Dry Corridor” and known for having the majority of the malnourished children from the entire country. We want to reach out to as many as we can to make a difference in their health. Please help us to find more sponsors to make a lasting change in a child who is in great need.