Project #125 | Healthy Schools Program in Guatemala
Our partnership with Mil Milagros
Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of child malnutrition in the world, and the highest rate in the western Hemisphere, with 50% of all children suffering from chronic malnutrition and stunting. In rural indigenous communities like those where Mil Milagros works, the rates of child malnutrition and stunting exceed 70%. Our partnership expanded and sustained the health and hygiene program in Santa Lucía Utatlán, Guatemala. This innovative program included a partnership with the Guatemalan Ministries of Health and Education to implement the “Healthy Schools” program, which is a school-based curriculum designed to improve health and hygiene practices and prevent diseases. This program provided children with hygiene supplies, engaged and trained mother and grandmother volunteers to help implement hygiene clinics, and trained student council leaders to be health-promoters. These student leaders developed public health campaigns within their schools and communities on topics like the importance of hand washing, drinking purified water, eating fruits and vegetables, and maintaining a healthy school and home environment. The target outcomes of this program were to build the capacities of women and children to improve their health and prevent diseases by helping them develop healthy hygiene practices and to encourage their families and communities to do the same.
Our collective impact
Children and Health Workers Affected
Jefferson is a 13-year-old sixth grader who has grown up with Mil Milagros in his school and community. Jefferson is the oldest of four children, and his three younger sisters range in age from three to 11 years old. Jefferson attends a two-room school with 28 other children and describes how life was before MM. “Before I didn’t have a toothbrush and we didn’t have any soap at school. No one washed their hands or anything. Now, here [in Nuevo Progreso], we have everything we need and brush our teeth and wash our hands every day.” Jefferson and the older children help the younger children to wash their hands and brush their teeth. Jefferson reports that he loves to help the young children to wash their hands before they eat the lunch provided by MM and prepared by their mothers.
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our children’s health fund.