What Happen to Estrella?
Estrella Belén Melgar Morataya was born July 15th, 2022. She was born weighing 3.1kg or 6.8 lbs, a healthy weight for a little girl. She lives in a community where FUSAL and the Early Childhood Development Program are present.
Nine days after her birth, the Early Childhood Development Program technical team identified an alarming weight loss, as she went from 3.1 kg/ 6.8 lbs to 2.7 kg/5.9 lbs. If this situation continued, Estrella's health would have been severely compromised in less than a month. Thankfully our team was there to help!
How did the Early Childhood Development Program help?
The team decided to provide personalized nutritional care and support to Estrella's parents to revert this situation. During the visits, they identified that Ana Guadalupe Morataya, Estrella's mother, was feeding her with breast milk substitutes.
The team implemented biweekly nutritional oversight through anthropometric evaluation of the child's weight, height, and overall health. To guarantee that the breastmilk will provide Estrella with the nutrients she needs, the team gave six packages of Manna Pack Rice per month to Ana Guadalupe, Estrella's mother. The team also taught her how to prepare different recipes using the Manna Pack Meals from donors like Feed My Starving Children and Food For The Poor and other local ingredients with high nutritional value.
The nutritional education was focused on the promotion, adoption, and continuous practice of exclusive breastfeeding. Supplemental information was aimed at showing through personalized modeling the techniques of breastfeeding, positioning, and latching, as well as secure attachment. Estrella overcame the nutritional risk and is weighing 5.6 kg, and her overall health has improved.
As part of the Early Childhood Development Program, Estrella will continue to receive nutritional and development observation until she is 5. She will also receive Manna Pack Rice meals monthly to complement her diet. She will participate in educational sessions to reach her development milestones at the appropriate time(s).
Estrella and her family will continue to receive nutritional and parenting counseling to create a healthy environment together for their family.
General Information About The Early Childhood Development Program
The Early Childhood Development Program, started in 2004 as the Libras de Amor, which translates in English to Pounds of Love— was created to address malnutrition in children under five years old who live in El Salvador's rural areas.
The Program started in an area with a very high level of malnutrition. The Childhood Development Program saw success within seven years. A community on the Guatemala/ El Salvador border saw a drop in malnutrition from 47% to 40%. Today, the Program has helped 18 communities and more than 200,000 participants though out the country. In recent years we have seen many challenges.
In 2021 more than 7,000 children and more than 450 pregnant women were supported by the Program's community volunteers in over 200 communities. Together with our sister foundation, FUSAL, we have been able to pivot with recent happenings and continue to help the people most vulnerable to malnutrition. Our Childhood Development Program continues to grow, and with your help, we can bring down the malnutrition rate even further at a time when food insecurity is high.
More Information About Our Partners Who Helped
This positive outcome is possible with the help of our generous donors like you and our in-kind partners at Feed My Starving Children, Food For The Poor, and our sister foundation FUSAL. For more information on our partnerships, please visit our partners page or our WeSupport page or send us an email so that we can respond to your questions directly.