Child-Focused Community Development in Guatemala
Feed the Children’s child-focused community-development (CFCD) program approach includes four cornerstone pillars: Food & Nutrition, Health & Water, Education, and Livelihoods. We work to transform lives by improving the food & nutrition security of mothers and children, and more specifically to reduce malnutrition and poverty. This happens when parents have the skills they need to raise well-nourished and thriving children, when communities are clean and keep children healthy, when children get the education they need to grow up to have good jobs and to raise healthy children themselves, and when parents have the skills and resources they need to feed their families.
Nutrition security is crucial for healthy development during early childhood. If mothers can provide their children with positive nutritional interventions during the first 24 months of their lives, educational and income outcomes dramatically improve later in life. Supporting pregnant mothers through iron and vitamin supplements ensures that their children are born healthy. Through health and nutrition initiatives during early childhood, such as child growth monitoring, food supplements, deworming medication, vitamin supplements and malnutrition rehabilitation, Feed the Children aims to prevent children in Guatemala from becoming nutritionally stunted. By emphasizing high-impact, low-cost sanitation initiatives, families can learn to address health issues quickly and health outcomes can be dramatically increased in Guatemala. Training caregivers and children in WASH behaviors, promoting point-of-use purification water systems, and installing school latrines all help build a healthy foundation for future generations so that no child faces preventable illness as a result of poor sanitation. These illnesses affect both developmental and educational goals, as children are forced to miss school when sick. We know that children who acquire more years of schooling are more likely to escape poverty. Thus, in Guatemala, our daily school meals lower barriers for school attendance and performance. Other physical barriers such as lack of materials, poor classroom conditions or frequent illness limit a child from reaching his or her educational potential, too. To empower children, Feed the Children also provides deworming medication and school supplies (direct beneficiaries=1,000) and distributes TOMS shoes to school children (DB=1,700) so that no child’s education is hindered by poor health or lack of materials. Feed the Children seeks to foster sustainable communities that encourage economic innovation, because children who live in more economically secure households are more likely to succeed at school. Promoting and creating homestead gardens promotes community collaboration, increases child nutritional intake and generates income (DB=1,000). These practices promote sustainable communities so that children are more secure. The health of mothers directly impacts the well-being of their children. As caretakers, women invest significantly back into their families when their economic potential increases, so providing for the health of mothers increases the health of children, too. Promoting gender equity and educating women on gender-based violence and other psychosocial activities improves both the physical and mental well-being of women so that they are more equipped to provide for their families.
The above reports data from fiscal year 2016 for Feed the Children.
Nutrition, Gender, Children
- Economic Recovery and Development
- Food Aid
- Humanitarian Aid
- Water Sanitation and Hygiene