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 saved over the years since the program started. We currently have over 1000 children in the program and we are in desperate need of funding. She has nutrition clinics at six different villages. The children in the program are weighed, and carefully monitored. Their parents are educated on the importance of good nutrition.
The sickest children are fed a peanut-based mixture called Plumpy-Nut for about six weeks, then switched to a mixture called Akamil, made from ground rice, corn, and beans. They are also given powdered milk, 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 St. Simeon Parish. They are given a specially made mixture, called Akamil, to feed their children. It is made from a mixture of either rice, corn or wheat, and beans. They are also given powdered milk, vitamins and necessary vaccinations. The results are nothing short of miraculous, with many lives saved since 2003. Once the children are healthy, many are given scholarships that allow them to attend school in one of the five schools run by the Episcopal Church in St. Simeon Parish.
CHAP has purchased land in the Croix de Bouquets area just outside of Port-au-Prince, and by working closely with partners such as the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, and others, construction is underway for a permanent home for the nutrition program. Long-range plans include a clinic where the most seriously ill children can be cared for until they are strong enough to return home, and a demonstration garden where Haitian parents can learn to grow crops necessary to better feed their children. Like all other buildings in Haiti, it is a "work in progress". As donations are received, work will continue, until it is completed.