The program continues much the same as in our previous updates. We thought the best encouragement would be to share just one of many recent stories of lives being transformed.
Baby Flórida was born June 1, 2012. At 8 months of age, after her mother died, an Aunt brought this little one to our milk program. When we first met and weighed Florida she was 8.1 lbs. and was completely malnourished. Now, only two months later, she is weighing in at 10.4 lbs.. Because of our help, this child will survive. This gives us such great hope. Thank you from Mozambique to Canada!
The community food program continues to provide food supplements to over 70 families every week, helping them with basic supplies. The boxes contain rice, oil, soap, detergent, sugar, beans and peanuts – such a help to families.
The story below is of an old woman who sits on a chair in the office regularly as she waits for food and milk.
“While we all agree that breast milk is the best option for babies, there are numerous situations where mothers are unable to feed their own babies. These are the ones that the formula milk replacement program targets. The aim of the program is (wherever possible) for the babies to remain with their mother or another family member. In cases where the mother has died, the family often needs the support because they cannot afford the cost of formula. In cases of sickness, malnutrition or simply insufficient milk, our team assesses mothers for their eligibility to receive milk powder.
All children and mothers are evaluated and prioritized prior to beginning the milk program. Children with mothers who are HIV positive who can't breastfeed, babies who are born with HIV and their mothers are unable to breastfeed them, and babies who are suffering from malnutrition are the priorities.
This past year, with great sadness we lost 4 babies to malnutrition, some of whom were victims of the HIV virus. We continue to fight against the difficulties of poverty and HIV that this nation confronts.
All Iris babies naturally receive all that is needed in order for them to thrive. In an effort to keep as many infants with their mothers as possible, Iris Ministries has constructed a program that provides food and milk for mothers and their babies in the surrounding community. This is one very practical way of keeping these families together. At present Iris is providing for 61 mothers and their babies. Each mother and child visits the centre twice a month.