Milk and hungry babies

We operate an infant milk (formula) program through the mission’s health posts in response to some of the malnourished and very underweight babies we see here. Requests for help often come from families living in poverty who are caring for orphaned infants–their only other recourse otherwise is to offer the hungry infant a slurry of mashed peanuts, or maize, mixed with water. Not only is this an inadequate diet for babies, but it also puts them at high risk of contracting illness and diarrhea. Our help, through counseling and providing formula when needed, improves survival rates and produces healthier outcomes for these precious little ones.

Most of the babies we help have lost their moms. Sometimes, the mom is alive and breastfeeding, but she is simply too underfed herself to produce enough milk for her baby. This is especially true in the case of a mom with twins.  When a mother is undernourished, the infants tend to suffer malnutrition “second-hand”. All they need is supplemental feeding in order to increase their weight and improve their health until they are old enough for the introduction of solids.

Mom and helper daughter with twins

Mom with twin infants, who are now gaining weight nicely, along with her helper daughter. For the time being, the daughter must stay home from school to help her mom. This is often the harsh reality for people living in underdeveloped conditions where simple survival consumes all one’s time and energy.

In the last few months, we’ve experienced a surge in the number of babies urgently needing help and our budget has been stretched to the max. There were times we had to consider reducing the cut-off age to 12 months (currently at 18 months) rather than turn away young infants who we know will not survive without this help. These decisions are never easy, and so we prayed for the additional income we needed in order to help meet this need.

Health Worker Ernesto with granny and orphaned baby

Health worker Ernesto with the latest addition to the milk program. This baby lost her mom and is being cared for by her granny.

Last week, seemingly “out of the blue”, someone wrote to ask us about the milk program. When they heard of the need, they sent a generous contribution that helped ease our current pinch considerably! We were reminded once again that God sees every need, both big and small. We are so thankful for all who give toward the Emergency Feeding program.

Granny and orphaned baby from Mucombeze, Mozambique

Requests continue to pour in and we carefully evaluate and consider each one. More help is needed. If you would like to help provide milk for a baby in need, you can give a one-time gift of any amount, or commit to support it monthly.  Visit our Emergency Feeding page for more information.

To all who have given to this program, to Emergency Feeding, or to Where Needed Most, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!