One of the leading causes of death in Haitian children is malnutrition. Pere Fritz Valdema was transferred to St. Simeon Parish, in the Croix de Bouquets area, in 2003. His wife Carmel, a public health nurse, visited the villages served in his parish, and was horrified by the level of malnutrition she saw. She found that over 60% of the children were malnourished by World Health Organization definition, and many were on the brink of death.
She immediately set up a nutrition program that today is called "Lespwa Timoun", or, in English, "Hope for Children". 32,000 children have been served over the years since the program started. We currently have over 1000 children in the program. Carmel and clinic staff host nutrition clinics at six different villages.
The children in the program are weighed and carefully monitored. Parents are educated on proper nutrition. The severely malnourished children are fed a peanut-based mixture called Plumpy-Nut for about six weeks then switched to Akamil. Akamil is made from ground rice, corn, and beans. Children are provided vitamins and necessary vaccinations. The results are nothing short of miraculous, with countless lives saved since 2003. Once the children are healthy, many are given scholarships that allow them to attend school in one of the four schools run by the Episcopal Church in Saint Simeon Parish. St. Simeon Parish.
CHAP has purchased land in the Croix-des-Bouquets area just outside of Port-au-Prince and built a permanent home for the nutrition program. Lespwa Timoun clinic opened the new location in 2014 and provides medical care to the community five days per week. The clinic compound offers a demonstration garden where Haitian parents can learn to grow crops necessary to better feed their children.