| UPDATES & STORIES OF IMPACT |
BPD supports community members to identify their needs, advocate for resources, and work in partnership with our staff and municipal authorities to plan and implement improvements in their health and well-being. Throughout the process, men and women of the community gain knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to continue the community development program.
Read on for stories of real lives benefitted from BPD and the support of our loyal donors.
Thursday, 21 June 2012
Goats Weather Climate Change
Goats are an important component of our efforts to defeat chronic malnutrition and address the impact of climate change. They are a resistant source of nutrients that are not affected by tropical storms. Goat milk is an excellent source of calcium and vital minerals for children suffering from malnutrition. They are easy to sustain, can eat almost anything, and their manure serves as healthy compost for family gardens. Goats adapt to the rocky highlands of Guatemala better than cows do, require less food, and consume less water. Importantly, the pesky problem of lactose intolerance doesn’t occur with goat milk. Goats have been used in the fight against chronic malnutrition worldwide for decades, and with good reason.
Our project is simple and sustainable: families who have children under five that are malnourished receive a milking goat. The family commits to giving the first female offspring of that goat to another family. A direct approach with a profound impact.
In Chichoy Alto we began this project by delivering thirty-five milking goats and two males in February 2012. Since then, nineteen goats were born and donated to other families in the community. In Xejolon, twenty-five goats were distributed in June, and already nine newborns have found new homes.
ABPD’s agronomist provides quarterly trainings addressing topics such as deworming, nutrition, weaning, and difficult deliveries and other complications, ensuring that the communities will be able to provide proper care for these animals without the continued involvement of external forces.
Thursday, 31 May 2012
Faustina Chiquita Xicay
La Pila, Patzun
Faustina Chiquita Xicay has been farming since she was a girl. Until a few years ago, she went to big farms to harvest coffee. Now she grows corn and other vegetables and works at home. She started to participate at the Strong Family Center in La Pila when it first opened and says that her life has changed because of the programs at the Center.
As a participant, she has learned to work as part of a team and has been very interested in the workshops on handicrafts. She has also learned how to prepare nutritious recipes and use products that she wasn't familiar with until she learned about them at the Center. Many of the recipes have become family favorites.
Faustina has participated in the agriculture program at the Center and how has her own garden. She is very happy that she has learned to successfully grow her own vegetables and saves money since she doesn't have to buy them at the market. Faustina grows a wide variety of vegetables including: cabbage broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, spinach, coriander, carrots and others. Staff also taught her new agriculture techniques, which historically only men did. She especially appreciates learning how to grow seedlings.
Faustina said, "Thank you ABPD and your donor for all of your support for our work. You have allowed our families to receive many benefits which have improved our quality of life."
Monday, 12 December 2011
My name is Carmelina Ajquejay. I live in La Pila and am the fourth of 13 children. I am the eldest child still living with my parents.
In January this year my dad had an accident and broke his spine, so he was sent to the Chimaltenango Hospital for a long time. My mom took care of him because we did not have enough money to pay for the treatment he needed.
All the family was under my care, with no support from my parents and with no food for the youngest ones. My mother was unable to breastfeed my 4-month-old brother because she had to travel every day to be with my dad. During this time, he lost weight and got sick. I did not know what to do, but I remembered the Strong Family Center and found support from them with food and activities for my brothers and sisters under 6.
I have been attending the center Tuesdays and Fridays so they can have a good lunch. My baby brother is now fine as he has received vitamins and nutritive drinks there. Also, with support from ABPD, I got help from the local health center and my brother’s weight is good now.
Thank God my brother is fine now and my dad is back at home. And, thank ABPD for the Strong Family Center because I learned how to take care of my brothers and sisters and how to feed them properly depending on their ages. I felt very supported by the other participants and the ABPD educator; they gave me many ideas about how to deal with this hard situation. My brothers, sisters and I are still attending the center because, with their support, I am better able to help my family.
Saturday, 05 November 2011
Xeatzan Alto, Patzun
My name is Estefana Jochola. I am 50 years old and have five children. I was born in Xeatzan Alto in Patzun. Natural disasters are becoming common in the area where we live. Beginning in 1998 with Hurricane Mitch, we have had many problems.
There was Hurricane Stan in 2005, Hurricane Agatha and Tropical Depression 11E last year, and Tropical Depression 12E a few weeks ago, all of them causing great damage to our community. We were still recovering from last year and now this year it happened again. We have lost our corn, beans and sweet pea crops. We rent our land, so now we are very worried because we have to pay the rent and have no money or food.
What happened to us is very sad. We lost one of our bedrooms. It was made of adobe and the rain and humidity caused it to collapse. (Photo on right.) Fortunately, our children were not inside when this happened.
Another problem now is that my husband lost his job. He works as a day laborer at local farms, but with the destruction of the crops, he is no longer needed. I normally help with the home expenses by weaving huipeles and selling them, but with the crop loss, no one has much income so they cannot afford to buy clothes. The situation is the same for most of my neighbors. They, too, have lost their crops, food and jobs for the last two years. I don't know what we are suppose to do.
Friday, 07 October 2011
El Durazno, San Martin Jilotepeque
My name is Armira Xicay and live in El Durazno, a village located in San Martín Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango.
My husband is Otto Leopoldo Xicay and we have 3 kids: Claudia Carolina age 7, Santos Fidel age 5 and Dulce Gregoria age 1.
One of our big problems is the lack of water at home. This is the reason why I have to get up every day at 4 a.m., take a jar and start my two journeys to get some water before dawn. There is not a single day when I can have a break; it is a daily routine if we want to have water during the day, at least to prepare food for my family.
Life is hard. Water is in puddles about 2 kilometers from home, but it almost disappears during the dry season. The path that leads to the water is narrow, hard to walk and very muddy during the rainy season. It takes half an hour to get to the water source if I walk fast, so it takes me one hour each round trip.
Water is a treasure for us; we take care of each drop like if it was the last one. During the rainy season we try to harvest as much water as we can, so at least I do not need to go to the nearest river to do my laundry; we even use this water for drinking.
Hauling water is a women’s activity. I have been doing this since I was a child. My daughter helps me, I do not want this hard work for her. I wish something better for my family.
This is why we asked ABPD for support. We need home water in El Durazno and then we will stop this suffering; this life is the same for all the families in the village.
Thanks to the generosity of Create Good Foundation, Armira and all of the other women and girls in El Durazno will no longer have to make arduous daily trips to haul water. Construction of a water system began at the beginning of September and it will take about four months to complete the project.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
Nancy Xiomara Vielman García, 25 years old
Choabajito Alto village, San Martín Jilotepeque.
Nancy is a local promoter at the Choabajito Alto strong family center. She is married and has a 7-year-old boy and an almost 2-year-old girl.
“I have participated in leadership, nutrition, nutritive recipes, health, agriculture and handicrafts training sessions at the strong family center, and also have received talks which help women know we have good skills and capacities we can use and allow us to be better mothers, even learning how to treat our children better”.
She thinks she gets important benefits at the strong family center, mainly food for her kids and learns to prepare nutritious recipes and do early childhood stimulation. She also receives seeds for her garden and some fabrics and threads for her handicrafts.
“My family has experienced very positive changes since I have participated at the strong family center we learned many new skills, thanks to the ABPD technicians. I can give injections now, something that not many people can do in this village and that other organizations do not teach people. We did not have latrine before, we had to share one with my parents, but ABPD provided us the materials and the skills to build it and now we have our own latrine. I also can prepare more nutrious food now for my children and ABPD has shown me how to grow vegetables. I harvest a part of my vegetables every month, and use them to cook at home because my children love them. I have had excess production, so my neighbors come to buy some carrots, radishes ad cucumbers. This has made me see I can have a bigger garden and make some profit from it so I already have started fencing another piece of land and I expect to have vegetables all the year for my family and to have some income.”
Nancy wants to keep on participating and learning at the center A she thinks a skilled woman can give a better future to her kids, pay for their education and provide a decent life and home. She believes her house is humble, with only a kitchen and a bedroom for the whole family, made of wood and metal sheets on the roof, and with no floor. She thanks ABPD for the latrine, which is a big improvement in their quality of life, but she would also like to have a better house, specially have a floor and an improved stove.
“Thank you ABPD for all your support given to me and all the group of women participating at the strong family center, God bless you.