Friday, July 1, 2011

Mid June, At the end of a week!

This has been such a busy week with medical clinics.
Yesterday the medical/dental and vision group held a clinic in Chukumuk.
They attended to over a 100 people.
Gloria called me last night after she returned from translating for the doctors and was very disturbed by how many people have so little to eat.
One of the doctors was in tears after talking to a very young, very thin woman who told him that very often she and her 10yr old brother often have nothing to eat . That her parents died in the mudslides and her older sisters have married and it is just the two of them. Thankfully, the doctor made arrangements with Gloria to send some money for food every month for these two young people.
Gloria asked me if we could set up a pre-school/feeding program for the children there, she feels the need is very great. I told her we would love to but it is just a matter of money and trying to raise funds for it.
Yesterday three young children were brought to Mayan Famililes by the mother of one of our sponsored students.
They are a 2-3 yr old girl, a 4yr old boy and a 6yr old girl. Very thin, their clothes were very tattered and dirty.
The mother of the children asked the sponsored mother who comes from the same village , if she could spend the night at her house, the sponsored mother agreed. The next day the mother asked the sponsored mother whether the children could stay with her for a week because she had found a job in Antigua and needed time to start the job and arrange things before the children came. The sponsored mother agreed again. A week went past, two weeks went past....nothing was heard from the mother.
Then the mother called and said she was not coming back for the children, that the sponsored mother could do what she liked, keep them, give them away, it didn't matter.
The sponsored mother's husband got on the phone and told the woman if she didn't come back for the children that he would call the police and she would be arrested. She came back the next day....she has a one year old baby she is still breastfeeding. She told the sponsored mother that she had met a man and that he does not want all these children with them but he will accept the baby.
The sponsored mother and father once again, told her, that she needed to take the children with her. They have a large family themselves including one child in a wheel chair. The mother agreed to take the children and left with them.
The sponsored family left to go to church around 6p.m. ....when they returned around 10pm the three children were sitting cold and trembling on the front door step. The 6yr old told them that the mother said that would stay there and that she would not be coming back for them.
The sponsored mother came to us yesterday and is very worried about what to do with these children.
She has known the mother for many years, the mother does not have any family that she knows of . There is one uncle that the children stayed with for a week but he beat them badly....and the children all said that they do not want to go back there because he hits them so hard.
The youngest one appears to have some scars on her back from being beaten. She does not talk and she is not toilet trained. We are not sure what her problems are exactly ....but she had a fever yesterday and we treated her for that.
The sponsored mother has already had someone offer to take the 6yr old girl. ....but it is obvious that this child would be taken in as a servant. The sponsored mother has said that she will keep the children together with her if she can get support to be able to feed, clothe, and send them to school. The young one, Michaela needs to be on the milk program so that she can have milk for her bottle. She is obviously very traumatised as are the other two children.
I have never seen such a sad face as this little Michaela had.
I think these children will be much better with the sponsored mother who is willing to take them and keep them together rather than send them to an orphanage.
We are hoping that we can send them to our pre-school and we will be looking for sponsorship for each one of them.
The sponsored father is a pastor at the local church and is a good man. He cares deeply about his own children and I think he will be very kind to these children. He and his wife are just concerned about having enough food to be able to feed them and support them.
We have had an update about Heydi who was the young girl who was raped and now has a baby.
She is back living with her family but the family do not really want her there but as long as we are providing food for her and the child then she can stay there. The family do not accept the little boy and they do not like to give them his food.
We are trying to do everything that we can so that Heydi is not a burden on her family and making that happen we hope will soften the hearts of the family. We had hoped that there would be enough land at the parent's home to build a room for Heydi and the baby so that they could be independent but the space is too small. We are now hoping that we will find a small piece of land for Heydi and to be able to build her a house. We have given Heydi an option as to where she could go and stay but she feels safer if she stays at home with her family.....even if they do not want her. Thanks to the donations that we receive from you we were able to give plenty of clothing to the babies and children who came in.
Anna from Family Aid left last Friday and is now back in Australia preparing to go back to University to start her Masters Degree.
We have Dina from Brazil who is a lovely young woman who has taken Anna's place. Dina speaks fluent English/Spanish as well as her native, Portugese.
We also have an intern, Erin who will be with us for several months who is helping Dina till we have a new person to take over.
We have many volunteers right now and it is wonderful.
We had a very inspiring young woman visit us yesterday. Her name is Colette and at 15yrs old she has started her own organization to help children. Yesterday, she and her father delivered work books that she designed and printed for young children. She delivered these books to Pana pre-school and to San Antonio after school program. The children loved them and we have enough to give to all the pre-schools.
Colette's mother is a pediatrician who is here working with a medical group. She asked us to see if we could get medical care for a young boy 16 months old, who has a cleft palate and is also tongue tied. This condition is making it very difficult for him to be able to eat.
We had a visit from the doctor at Central Salud, this is the govt. run health clinics that offer free medical treatment for the communities.
Over a year ago we gave them an ultrasound machine that Wayne had driven down from Canada. Unfortunately, it was damaged in the process of coming down and it needs repairs. They have been trying to raise the funds ever since but they have had no luck. They can get it repaired but it will cost $1,500 US. They came to us to ask if we had any one who could help them with this. We are going to try and help them because this would be such an incredibly useful item for them to have.
The doctor also told me that they have very little medications.....people come to them sick and they have nothing to give them. She also told me that the govt. has not allocated the workers wages for the past two months no meds and no wages makes it very difficult for them to work. The doctor thanked us for facilitating these medical teams and said how much they help the people.
We were able to give them some children's tylenol, some OTC meds but we really had very little that we could share with them.
Today we are having a clinic at San Antonio Palopo. It is the last day of the clinics, tonight we will have a farewell dinner with the group and they will be heading off to Antigua for a few hours and then onto the city. This group has worked so hard and helped so many people. We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with them.
We had a very happy, boisterous crowd from the San Jorge school soccer team come to Mayan Families yesterday. They were so thrilled to receive soccer uniforms ...thank you TEWKSBURY!!! , soccer shoes, socks, shin guards and three new balls! They were thrilled, they rushed off and played an impromtu game in the garden. Today, Tierra Linda Elementary school will be coming down to receive their uniforms.
And on an even happier note, we have Shannon and her family here. Shannon is a long time Mayan Families Connection member and we are so happy to have her back here with us.

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