Food For Healing – Haiti
When illness strikes in a country where most people do not get enough to eat or do not eat enough of the right nutrients, even mild malnutrition can greatly influence the course of illness. In Haiti, when a common cold virus infects a child who is poorly nourished, that child often lacks adequate immune response to fight even mild infection, and more serious and widespread infection quickly occurs. In this way, many Haitian children are hospitalized with pneumonia, respond poorly to antibiotic treatment, and their mortality rate is high. These are children who might not even need antibiotic treatment in our own country. Recent reports show that in these times of world economic and food stress, these hospitalizations and preventable deaths are happening with increasing frequency in the Mombin Crochu region.
The children will stand watching,
Clothed in nothing but a torn shirt,
Clothed in nothing.
Invite them and they will sit with you,
Open your arms and you can hug them,
Two at once, snuggled against your body.
The children rub their bellies,
They look up with pleading eyes,
Their hunger is decades deep.
“Grangou” is a word often heard in the villages of Haiti. It means “hungry” in a place where one meal of rice and beans a day is considered fortunate. Hunger in children is the hardest to witness. Village Partners International launched the Food for Healing program as a way to address the dire need for nutritious meals for the children and families of Covenant Hospital, Haiti. Because of generous donations to VPI, desperate families have received food for their sick children. There are no words to describe the gratitude in the eyes of a mother when she knows that, at least for a while, her child will be given what she needs to sustain her healing.
Please consider a donation to the Food for Healing program and help us help the children heal. Food for Healing will do more than help combat the problem of malnutrition in hospitalized patients. Because the food is available to all patients, free of charge, more people will come to the hospital. As numbers increase, so does the visibility of the medical program. In addition, all of the food is purchased from the local market, helping to support the village farmers while providing paid positions to the cooks. Ultimately, the goal of providing assistance is to help people learn to help themselves. Part of the medical team’s commitment is to teach the Haitian doctors and nurses as they work together to improve health care for the villagers.