Project #90 | Health and Hygiene for Children in Guatemala
Our partnership with Mil Milagros
Our partnership with Mil Milagros helped to expand their successful Healthy Schools program to all four public schools in San Juan la Laguna, which has impacted 835 children, along with dozens of mothers, teachers, and health workers. This project provided hygiene training for the school-based program to teachers and health center staff, while also engaging the children’s mothers in assisting with hygiene interventions and monthly workshops in the classroom. Necessary hygiene supplies such as toothbrushes, soap, lice shampoo, deworming medication, and water filters have also been provided.
Implementation of the program resulted in improved school attendance, a lower incidence of illness, and the widespread practice of healthy hygiene practices which were previously non-existent. Equally as important as the impact in the schools is that the impact has been felt in the children’s homes. The mothers report that learning about the importance of good hygiene has inspired them to make changes in their homes by ensuring they have soap for handwashing and that they and their children brush their teeth and use toilet paper. In homes where mothers were not engaged as volunteers in our partner schools, we have received numerous reports of the children “lobbying” their mothers for soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes, and toothpaste in their homes. With increased hygiene awareness, children were empowered to live longer, healthier lives.
Our collective impact
Health Workers Trained
Miguel is a five year old kindergartner at the San Juanerita School. Last year, he was a shy child with obvious signs of malnourishment. But earlier this year, Miguel began to come out of his shell. When he received his first toothbrush, he ran up to Mil Milagros staff and said, “Thank you for my toothbrush. Now, I’m going to brush my teeth every day!” Miguel has learned the proper way to brush his teeth, wash his hands, and to use toilet paper. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and toilet paper are luxuries afforded to few families in Miguel’s community. Miguel was so proud that he no longer had lice after his first two shampoo treatments that by the third time there was a shampoo workshop at his school and he was asked if he was going to have his hair washed, he beamed his contagious smile and proclaimed, “No! I don’t have lice anymore!” Miguel’s teacher reports that he is now paying better attention due to his improved hygiene habits and the nutritious breakfast and healthy snack he receives at school each day from Mil Milagros. His demeanor has changed dramatically and now he looks forward to going to school 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.