Malnutrition Center Update

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Matthew 25:35-36

Here in Haiti, access to good, healthy food is much different than in the States. Haiti is in a hunger crisis. At our Malnutrition Center, we see many children who suffer from starvation. They arrive weak and undernourished, but through our program, they begin to thrive!

The Malnutrition Center opened in 2021 and was dedicated on January 29. It was a beautiful day, with lots of visitors. Some of the girls from our Children’s Home performed a dance!

We have baby swings, bouncers, and toys for the babies to enjoy.

The “mamas” who work at the Center love rocking the little ones on the beautiful front porch!

When we first opened the center, we had no idea how successful it would be and how many lives would be saved. A recent “success story” is little Bonheur Widensley!

Bonheur is 21 months old, and when he first arrived at the Clinic, he weighed 7.6 lbs., about the weight of a newborn baby. Now, his mother is being taught by the nurses how to feed him, and they are giving him special foods to take with them. As you can see, Bonheur is now “chubby” and thriving!

The children who arrive at the Malnutrition Center are weak and often close to death, with conditions known as either Kwashiorkor or Marasmus. Kwashiorkor is especially dangerous because the baby is not receiving protein, but is full of water, which leads the mother to believe her baby is healthy. Through our program, these children receive excellent care and lots of love. They get regular check-ups and are fed on a tight schedule. Their mothers come down to visit with them once a week or once every two weeks, as they do not have the money to make the trip more often.

As soon as the children in the Center reach their intended weight, they are sent back to their families with nourishing food for themselves and their family members.

Some of the children we treat are outpatients. They receive special milk formula and RUSF peanut butter that our friends at MAP International donated and can go home with their families! The babies who we keep in the Center are critical and will die without the proper care, medicine, milk, and medications. They must stay until they reach the proper weight.

Outpatient children are also very fragile. Mothers must make sure they give the milk products and the special food formulas exactly how the Pediatric Nurse instructs them. The children come back each week or every two weeks if they are very sick. The mother brings back the empty packages of RUSF to help us ensure the children are receiving proper care.

We have shared quite a bit of what we received with other missionaries, as we always do. We expect some “medical mamba” to arrive soon, which is particularly good for severely malnourished children and babies.

We believe that this Malnutrition Center is a life-saver. Many of our own children from Love A Child Children’s Home have suffered from severe malnutrition and benefited from the Center.

Recently, we have started a new program sending our head Malnutrition Center Nurse up the mountain each Friday, and the mothers bring their babies to meet with the nurse. She will weigh them and measure them, give them exams, and send them back with special formulas for their growth.

A special request: We really need toddler clothes for boys and girls, as well as clothes for younger babies. We also need toddler sheets for the beds, and we would love to have ladies’ dresses of any size for the mothers to wear to church. It would be a great blessing. For a full list of our needed items and instructions on how to donate them, click here.

Thank you, friends and partners—we love you!