There’s no instruction manual for how to be a good parent. Gloria was doing the best she could as a young mom. For the first six months of baby Claudia’s life, everything seemed to be going well.
The family lives on a small piece of land just outside Gulu City in Uganda. They have a grass-thatched house surrounded by mango trees and a jackfruit tree. And the year Claudia was born, as part of a government water supply and sanitation program, a borehole to fetch water was drilled just a three-minute walk away.
When Claudia was about seven months old, Gloria noticed she wasn’t the happy baby she used to be. She was crying a lot. And she kept losing weight even though she was still breastfeeding.
The nearest medical facility is nearly 30 minutes away, but Gloria knew something was wrong, so she packed up her baby and made the trek.
A mother’s instinct is most often right: Claudia tested positive for malaria, and at seven months old, she only weighed 13 pounds. According to the World Health Organization, the average female baby at Claudia’s age weighs 16 pounds, 14 ounces.
“I was so stressed and worried because she is my only child,” Gloria said.
Gloria and her husband didn’t have a lot of extra income. It was normal for them to eat once a day, around 3:00 p.m., to hold their rumbling tummies through the night. So, her fear stemmed from costly medical treatments for their sick daughter.
Her worries quickly subsided when Claudia was enrolled in Feed the Children’s supplemental feeding program. At no cost to the family, Claudia received a fortified blend of maize and soy beans with added vitamins and minerals. These types of blends are used throughout the world to help children receive the protein, vitamins and minerals that are critical during growth periods.
“Claudia’s health greatly improved after she started receiving the corn-soy blend, all thanks to Feed the Children for the support,” Gloria smiled.
Because of donors like you, Claudia is back to playing and laughing. Her mother also benefited from your generosity. During visits to the clinic for Claudia’s check-ups, Gloria learned about proper infant and child feeding, something she believes has helped her improve how she takes care of her daughter.
Now, instead of worrying about her baby’s health and tending to a sick child, Gloria can concentrate on a small family garden, growing vegetables that will nourish her family.
Even though Gloria still doesn’t have that instruction manual for parents, she is grateful that, because of people like you who answered the call for help, her daughter is thriving AND she received vital training that will keep Claudia healthy and happy.