Hunger in Africa prompts record U.N. food agency appeal; one in 10 children out of school globally; 1 million people displaced by violence in Central America, parts of Mexico.
Why World Vision is in Guatemala
Life proved dangerous and hard for millions of Guatemalans in 2015, including many children and parents with whom World Vision works. Along with El Salvador and Honduras, Guatemala continued to be a perilous region in which to live, with the highest homicide rates in the world outside war zones. Gangs battled over territory and demanded payments from citizens for their children’s safety. More than half of Guatemala’s population lives below the poverty line, and half of its children are malnourished, one of the highest rates in the world. Our emphases in Guatemala centered on protecting children from the violence around them. We collaborated with pastors, teachers, and other leaders to raise awareness, create policies, and preserve the rights of children. Children and youth themselves received education about their rights and how to seek protection. Regarding malnutrition, our efforts focused on parents helping parents, specifically through cultivating nutritious vegetables in backyard gardens and teaching cooking classes to ensure that children get the healthy meals they need to recover.
We never give up on people
World Vision child sponsorship looks at all the things that prevent children from surviving and thriving in their community, and then works with that community to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together to build a better life for all children. For sponsors, it’s a personal way to show God’s love to a child in need in a life-changing way.
Progress in Guatemala
Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families.
Child Protection and Care
Boys and girls are safe and valued, well cared for by their families, and participating in their communities as agents of transformation.
- To reduce the effects of natural disasters, communities conducted assessments of local prevention strengths and weaknesses and developed emergency plans.
- Youth participated in Sowers of Hope networks where they gained leadership and teamwork skills and learned to address the problems in their communities. Sowers of Hope was set up by World Vision to help kids use lessons from the Bible to influence the world around them.
- We worked on increasing household access to nutritious food by cultivating backyard vegetable gardens with families whose children were at risk of malnutrition. They attended our sessions on native seeds, preparation of compost, soil preservation, and crop diversification.
Healthy Children and Families
Children and families are well nourished, protected from infection and disease, and have access to essential health services.
- To prevent the spread of the Zika virus, World Vision held informational sessions about the disease prevention for community leaders, educators, and mothers of young children.
- We coordinated a cooking program called Common Pot to help mothers learn to prepare meals using local, nutritious ingredients, in order to prevent malnutrition and improve their children’s overall health.
- To protect the health of children under age 5, World Vision worked with local clinics and the Ministry of Health to provide vaccines and vitamins to vulnerable children in danger of disease and malnutrition.
Education for Better Lives
Children have opportunities to learn and to develop their talents, young people are equipped for the future, and families and communities support children's education.
- To improve literacy among children, World Vision partnered with the Ministry of Education to hold reading comprehension programs. These programs included structured activities designed to strengthen reading and writing skills.
- Local kids benefited when we opened preschools to ensure that children learn the necessary skills to be successful in primary school, such as counting, knowing the alphabet, and getting along with others.
Love of God and Neighbors
Children and families are growing spiritually, local churches are strengthened to demonstrate Christ's love in practical ways, and people are living at peace with their neighbors.
- Our local staff served children and families as a demonstration of God's unconditional love, seeking always to be faithful ambassadors of Jesus, the reason for our hope.
Prayer Requests from Guatemala
World Vision's staff in Guatemala are asking us to join them in prayer for the following:
Parents who are trying to keep their children in school and safe from the gang violence and drug addictions that surround them.
Clinic staff who teach parents how to treat childhood diseases and malnutrition.
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