Daisy is nearly two years old now, and she loves to play with her friends. She lives with her mother and two older sisters in a grass-thatched hut. Their family depends on small-scale agriculture for a living; they grow cassava and beans. Daisy’s oldest sister goes to the nearest school, 3 miles away. The nearest hospital is nearly 16 miles away, which is a long journey on foot. This makes it difficult for parents to obtain the critical medical care their children need.
Daisy’s story is one of hope, but that hope wasn’t guaranteed. In her first year of life, Daisy suffered from malnutrition, which is a severe problem in Uganda. Her health declined steadily, starting with a bad cough and progressing to appetite suppression and severe weight loss. There was a very real risk that, like so many other Ugandan children, she would not have survived her first two years.
In Uganda, more than one third of all young children suffer from stunting, which is permanent growth damage due to malnutrition. 46 children out of every 1,000 die before their fifth birthday, and half of those children die because they simply don’t have enough food and nutrients to survive. This cycle of hunger perpetuates the poverty in which so many families live.
Daisy’s family was doing their best, but lands in their area tend to be infertile and give poor crop yields. Sometimes the food just ran out. Between food insecurity, poor water quality and sanitation, and water- and soil-based parasites that can devastate a child’s health, Daisy’s future wasn’t bright.
When Feed the Children came to Daisy’s community, it was the start of her journey to health. Her family was able to obtain nutritious corn soya blend through the health center, and Daisy immediately started eating well and gaining weight. She finally had the energy to start playing with other children and being happy. In addition, Daisy’s mother participates in a community Care Group, and this group has been trained on how to purify drinking water and make it safe. This means that Daisy is now safe from waterborne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea.
Because of the aid and education her family has received, Daisy now has hope. She can run, play, and learn about her world. And she finally has the chance that every child deserves – the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong.