In the Philippines, many children living in poverty are in poor health. Malnutrition, leading to anemia and poor dental health, is one of the most urgent issues at many of our Filipino sites. Through the support of our sponsors and donors, we work with our local partners to implement nutrition programs to help nourish hungry children and families.
In addition to sponsorship, our Tondo site in the Philippines provides regular daily meals supported through our nutrition program. Vitamins and extra supplements are also provided to anemic and vitamin deficient children.
So far, the children in Tondo have greatly benefited from the regular, healthy meals. In our 2017-2018 year, 144,551 meals were fed to children in need. Sponsored children aren’t the only ones who benefit- the coordinators were given permission to feed other children who were hungry and came asking for food, as long as the children in the program were fed.
Children who come to the site for meals are also encouraged to engage in activities like singing, dancing, drawing, and socializing with other children. They learn to pray before meals. They also are required to eat vegetables, a struggle for many children when they first attend!
Most importantly, the children learn to help set up the center for meals. They help wash dishes, measure vitamins into dosage cups, and clean. This responsibility brings pride, especially to older children who have been attending for a while.
Thanks to the nutrition program, children have shown significant improvement to their health in the past year. Increase in height ranged from 1 cm to 10.5, and weight gain ranged from 1 kg to over 10 kg for children who had previously been severely malnourished. “The children may not yet understand the effect the program had on them,” says Eunice, our Tondo site director. “But one day, they will look back thanking the program for making them and keeping them healthy.”
“Thank you for supporting this nutrition program,” says Eunice, “We witness the children growing, glowing and happy. They are victims of poverty they do not comprehend. We hope that they will be nourished by the love that comes with every meal, and grow up with the warmth and desire to pay it forward, knowing people not known to them had once blessed them unconditionally.”
There’s still a need for nutrition support at many of our sites around the world. Help feed malnourished children by donating to our nutrition fund.