October 2023 Zimpeto Community Infant Milk and Food Supplement Program Update
Infant Milk Supplement Program:
Melanin’s mother was chronically ill when she gave birth so Melanin didn't receive sufficient breastmilk for the first few months of life. When her mother passed away a few months later, Melanin's father fed her milky water that remained from boiling rice. After three weeks her father noticed she was quite frail and brought her to our Community Milk Program. At 4½ months, Melanin was barely the size of a 2-month-old and was very weak.
[When Melanin first came to the program.]
Thanks to our generous sponsors, Melanin received the nutritious formula that she needed. She steadily gained weight and strength and graduated from our program at normal weight and development. Melanin graduated at 12 months. It took her six months to finally reach normal weight since she was so behind - physically and developmentally. We watched her for another two months to ensure she maintained a good weight and growth curve.
Our sponsors saved Melanin’s life by providing the funds to purchase formula. Their love also facilitated her staying with her father. If not for the formula, Melanin's Father would have had to give her up to an orphanage or other institution (if she had survived long enough) because he wouldn't have been able to provide for her infant needs. God created families.
[Melanin's graduation from the program.]
Thank you for allowing this family to stay together after the tragic loss of the mother. Melanin is growing into a beautiful little girl and is a special gift to her father. She is the legacy of the love that he and his wife shared.
How long each baby stays in our program varies from infant to infant. Babies do not continue after 12 months (unless dire circumstances and more time is needed to stabilize their health.
While most graduate between 10 -12 months, some graduate as early as nine months (if they are eating regular food well and still following a good growth curve (on the WHO z-score chart) and have reached and maintained a normal weight.
There are also times when 6-month-old babies start eating regular food and exceed their expected weight despite our decreasing their formula. We graduate these babies earlier since they no longer require formula.
Food Supplement Program:
[Marta receiving some provisions.]
Marta is a grandmother who lives on her own. She is extremely poor and has faced great hardship.
She was helping her daughter (a mother to three) who was unwell until the daughter passed away. Marta was unable to care for her grandchildren, so she brought the three children to live with us at the Zimpeto Centre.
Knowing Marta’s poverty, we added her to our food box biweekly program. Her grandchildren are well cared for and doing well now, and Marta is being provided with food. They see one another very regularly. The team at the centre is praying for the Lord’s grace and wisdom on how best to help this family in the long term.