EARLY EDUCATION TEMPORARILY CLOSED, MALNUTRITION RESULTS FAVORABLE
EARLY 2020 PROGRESS REPORT:
Due to Covid-19 the education centers were closed, as schools were in most countries. For these children it meant that they were no longer receiving the government funded meal that was being served during class time. The Association of Café y Quinoa requested that they be allowed to modify the original Early Education Center expense budget and workplan to include age-appropriate education on basic hygiene and nutrition. The approved revision provided each child with a packet of personal hygiene supplies such as a toothbrush, wash cloth, soap, etc., as well as the addition of some food staples to be shared with their family. This request was approved by Kerry, a major sponsor of this grant, and by the Café Femenino Foundation Board of Directors. Here are some photos of the children and family members receiving the hygiene and food staples. In some communities, for health and safety reasons, the children are not allowed to receive the supplies from the visitors from outside their community.
FINAL 2020 EARLY EDUCATION CENTER REPORT:
Unfortunately, the Field Nurse was only able to make a single visit to the early education centers during the months of October and November. The nutritional results in the children are comforting.
The favorable results are attributed, in part, to the additional time spent that children spent with their parents as well as the distribution of food carried out by the Government and the Café Femenino Foundation.
However, a significant factor was the nutrition workshops the parents have attended since 2013 when the early education centers started tracking the incidence of malnutrition in all 15 early education centers. During the pandemic the parents had the time to plan meals using the available foods with higher nutritional value, diversity in their food preparation and serve daily meals in a timely manner.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS:
Despite the pandemic, the malnutrition results were better than anticipated.
203 children (ages 3-5) tested for malnutrition:
2% (4) tested malnourished
95% (193) tested normal
2% (4) tested overweight
1% (2) tested obese
This year the number of 3-5 year old children served declined by approximately 20%.
In 2019 there were 236 children; 2020 there were only 203 children ages 3-5.
The decrease is due to the decision of their parent to isolate themselves on their farms over the fear of contracting Covid-19, as well as parents not wanting to interact with the nurse.
For the future they plan to continue to raise awareness on the importance of restricting the activities with children outside their households, continuing to wear masks and focus on personal hygiene especially hand washing. The distribution of the additional food was beneficial and they would like to continue to receive it if that is at all possible.
The message from the communities “The children are very happy to receive the materials and hygiene supplies, the parents greatly appreciate the support from the Café Femenino Foundation and send their thank you for everything”.