When the seeds of malnutrition are stopped before they sprout, the opportunities for a child’s future blossom. Rather than worry about their babies’ basic health needs, mothers can watch their little ones grow and thrive. Instead of stressing about day-to-day survival, they can dream about their child’s long-term potential.
For the moms we serve, vitamins support more than just good health for their children, but the chance for their hopes to become a reality.
27-year-old Algee was nine months pregnant when we met her. As a single mother living in the impoverished community of Puerto Princesa Palawan, in the Philippines, Algee dismissed the odds against her, resolute in her goals.
“Oh, my daughter–she’ll be the president of the Philippines one day,” Algee told us. For her, there was no ambiguity or wishful thinking; the statement came through in the declarative as if we had asked her the color of the sky.
With the support of prenatal multivitamins, she will be able to step into motherhood with the same unwavering confidence in her daughter’s health as she has in the prospect of the bold future ahead.
The best part of Daisy’s day is when it begins. The mother to three (soon-to-be-four), who owns and operates a neighborhood store located at the front of her house, shared that she delights in walking her children to school each morning. At five months along, Daisy noted that she still has plenty of energy for her daily walks and working responsibilities, something she attributes to the prenatal multivitamins she is taking.
Daisy’s positive attitude and entrepreneurial spirit have set a strong example for her children. Her oldest daughter plans to finish high school and become a nurse, even if that means she has to move away from home to do so. Daisy is committed to supporting all of her children in fulfilling their dreams, which starts with good nutrition from the very start.
A startling number of children in the village of Bella Vista, Guatemala showed up to the community’s vitamin distribution with protruding bellies, a glaring symptom of intestinal worms. But when asked if they had heard of parasites affecting children in their town, many parents shook their heads no in response. It quickly became clear that the problem wasn’t simply a lack of resources or sanitation, but the lack of health and nutrition education.
But Adelaida, a mother of four, remains optimistic about her children’s future. The journey down a rugged path to the distribution site is difficult for her younger children, but having learned what benefits the vitamins and deworming tablets offer, she is committed to finding a way. Adelaida won’t rely on outside support alone though to ensure her children’s health – she makes an effort to cook nutritious meals, including eggs, beans, and potatoes. All her efforts are done without complaint because she dreams that her children: “Que crezcan bien y no falten nada,” she said–that they grow well and lack nothing.
We spoke to Silvia, a mother of five on her way out of a routine WIC appointment with her daughter, Sarai. Silvia took prenatals when she was pregnant with Sarai and is now looking forward to her third birthday. She shared that in her experience Hispanic people often recognize this birthday as a key milestone because they know that children are at the greatest risk of death when they are little, so making it to three is cause for celebration. Sarai wants a Moana themed party.
Looking to the future, it’s the lessons she learned the hard way that Silvia hopes to protect her children from. “I dropped out of school when I had my first daughter, and then I saw how things were…[it was] really hard to get a job. I always tell them, ‘school first.’” Silvia doesn’t just talk the talk, she went back to school herself and graduated just before her 4th child was born. She hopes that by supporting her children’s health and happiness, they will be able to finish school and “go further than I went.”
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