How we met
I first met Randy and Pat Mortensen last year right before the big flood in Cazale. Randy and Pat are the directors of World Wide Village. Troy L. had planned a trip to come visit RHFH with them. At that time the roads were terrible. They slid all through the mud to get here on the slick road. I gave them a tour of the RC and we talked about many things. At that time, we had a row of kids in beds. They all had kwashiorkor and were all very sick. There was one little girl, Soline, that really touched them in a special way. She was severly malnourished and needed some extra care to recover (thanks Jeanne) Here she is below. We talked about many things that day, but the most important was talking about starting a medika mamba program in the RC. They committed, on the spot, enough funds to provide the peanutbutter for 10 children. Once we started with those 10 then we would regroup and see what we all thought about the results. I was so excited that day. We had a new hope in helping the kids and I had two new really great friends.
While they were pulling out the driveway, the rains were starting and the flood was coming. Before there visit, the road had been impassable for several days. After the flood it was impassable for months. All I know is God’s timing is perfect. He got them here and they saw a need and decided to meet that need. I love that ….you see what needs to be done and you just do it. Troy has been working hard since then to get the program started and get the actual peanut butter here to Cazale. Believe me it is not an easy process. You just cannot go to a place and buy it. It takes time to get it. So we started the program at the beginning of May.
How it works
Each child has to be weighed and measured in height each week. For the child to be admitted onto the program they have to fall below a certain level of standard set up by the World Health Organization. If they have any degree of kwashiorkor, they can be admitted. Once admitted we fill out a chart. On this chart, we keep records on them each week. There is a scale to follow by their weight/height to tell you how much weight they should be gaining each week. The first week ,they are treated with an antibiotic. The second week ,they are dewormed. They can just eat the peanut butter and nothing else (still drinking fluids) and still gain weight.
Once you have the weight of the child, you go to a chart provided to you. This tells you how much PB to give each child per day. So, for example, a child that weighs 5kg (11 pounds) would need to eat 7 tablespoons per day. A child weighing 12kg (26 1/4 pounds) would need to eat 17 tablespoons per day. We have come up with a system that works for us. Each child has a bowl with their name on it. The ladies work on feeding the child throughout the day. They start at 7am and finish around 8pm. Depending on the amount they have to eat and how much they like it, it can take 8 to 10 feedings per day to get the full amount eaten.
The ladies wash the bowls out each night and take them to Keverly. She then fills them up with the right amount of PB for the next day.
The kids are not fed inside the RC. We tried this for a few days. But image having 10 kids that get to eat and a lot of others that don’t get to. It makes for a lot of crying for the others.
The peanut butter is made with peanuts from Haiti, milk, oil, vitamins and minerals. It is not as creamy or thick as most peanut butter that you buy in jars.
I have been working in Haiti for 14 years now. I have seen many, many products that promote that they work for malnourished kids. Some of them do, some of them don’t. This is my own personal opinion-this is the best. So many times the products might sound good but the kids do not like the taste. Medika mamba has a great sweet taste that the kids love. It works, really works. Most children should reach there goal weight within 8 weeks. Unbelievable…yes, it does sound like it. But it is true.
This is Horlando. He is 2 years old. When he started the program on May 2nd he weighed 8.8kg (19 pounds 4 ounces) on May 23 he weighed 10.6kg (23 pounds 4 ounces). These stats are wonderful, but the picture is the proof. Amazing!
How you can help
Tara L. is going to run 26.2 miles. Two people are willing to donate a matching grant of $5200. Tara is looking for people to sponsor her per mile for a marathon she is running in October. If she can get sponsors for $5200 then the matching grant and donation made on her behalf will total $10,400! These funds will be used to purchase more Medika Mamba. This, I am telling you will save lives. Head over to their blog and to read more details and more info about donations.
Some of the kids on the program now
Kids that could have benifited from medika mamba
We want to thank World Wide Village, Randy and Pat Mortensen , Troy and Tara Livesay for making this project a reality in Cazale. Nou renmen ou anpil!