Project #160 | Healthy Schools Program in Guatemala
Our partnership with Mil Milagros
Guatemala has the highest rate of chronic child malnutrition in the western Hemisphere with 50% of all children suffering from chronic malnutrition and stunting. In rural indigenous communities like the Mayas, the rates of child malnutrition and stunting can exceed 70%. Rural Mayas in Guatemala have limited access to water, nutritious food, hygiene supplies, and education; most live on $2.00 or less per day. The leaders in one of Mil Milagros’ partner schools reported that the number one reason that children are absent from school is due to stomach-related illnesses. As a result, primary school completion rates in rural Guatemala fall around just 51 percent.
We partnered with Mil Milagros to help prevent disease and improve the health of Maya children in Guatemala. Our grant was used specifically to help implement Mil Milagros’ Healthy Schools/Healthy Children program, impacting 1,600 indigenous Maya children. This program provided students with hygiene supplies including soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lice shampoo, anti-parasitic medications, and water filters. Additionally, Mil Milagros trained student council leaders to be health promoters in their schools and communities. These students developed three public health campaigns on topics such as hand-washing, drinking purified water, and consuming fruits and vegetables to educate their peers. Funding for this program also supported Mil Milagros’ Early Childhood Development Program, a project aimed at teaching mothers how to promote the healthy development of their children and prevent malnutrition and stunting.
Our collective impact
Mothers and teachers trained
Children receiving hygiene education and supplies
Students trained as health promoters
Sergio is 12 years old and a student council representative at Mil Milagros partner school, Campo Verde. He is an only child, his favorite class is math, and when he grows up he wants to be a professional soccer player! As a leader, he loves teaching his peers what he has learned in the student council sessions, especially when it comes to health and hygiene. He shows them how to brush their teeth properly, wash their hands, and reminds them to drink water every day. This year, Sergio helped lead a water campaign in his school, teaching his peers to choose water over sugary beverages. The day of the presentation, he was front and center singing the campaign song, “I’m going to drink water!” Sergio’s enthusiasm and confidence as a leader are helping his peers develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. In Campo Verde, children are washing their hands before and after every meal, regularly brushing their teeth, and no longer bring junk food or sugary drinks to school. They have access to filtered water and are drinking water every day.
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.