Yesterday was another education here in Guatemala. Preparing for a the arrival of a group that will be here in a few weeks took us to Casa Jackson and an meeting with a young lady in her 20's named Andrea. She's one of the staff who oversees a program of bringing life back to babies here. Literally life!
Yesterday 20 babies between newborn and 6 years old were there having arrived on the brink of death from malnutrition. In all Casa Jackson saw 95 children last year. Each child will stay at the facility for 1 to 3 months to be nourished..brought back to life. Some arrive with physical problems, in fact all the babies we saw yesterday seemed lifeless, but much better than when they arrived were were told.
Founded two years ago by Jean and Sue Jackson from North Dakota, the center operates on a budget of $60,000, much of that coming from the Jackson family. In Guatemala 49% of children under the age of 5 suffer from severe malnutrition. So malnourished that some of the babies have to be taught simply how to swallow or chew.
With a staff of 2 nurses and volunteers who float in 5 to 7 at a time the facility is making a difference here not only for the children immediately, but for their long-term health as well. Casa Jackson offers classes for parents on simply readily available foods to keep children living in poverty healthy. A child is dismissed when a social worker and pediatrician evaluates the child's health and it's outlook for the future.
"We work through generational bad ideas here," Andrea says, "many of our babies arrive having only had a diet of water that corn is boiled in." God please bless this incredible ministry doing a "God sized" work here in Guatemala.