Little 5-year-old Rhein loves eating fish and vegetables, but her mother, Leni’s meager income can only afford a limited amount of food for the whole family.
Leni is a single mom raising five children. She works as a utility person at a birthing clinic. When she is not at the clinic, she does her neighbors’ laundry or cleans other people’s houses to earn extra money. There were days that money was so short that all Leni could feed Rhein and her siblings was an egg or rice with soy sauce. This greatly affected Rhein’s health and led her to become thin, sickly, and gravely malnourished.
“Rhein is a smart child. Even if she misses her classes, she still passes her tests,” said her 33-year-old Leni beaming with pride. But Leni’s smile quickly faded away when she shared about Rhein’s health. “Her body is thin, and she gets sick all the time. We regularly had to bring Rhein to the hospital because she became so weak.”
When Operation Blessing’s feeding program, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, began to serve daycare enters around Batangas City, Rhein was one of the fortunate young pupils who was chosen for the program. These kids are now provided daily meals that even include Rhein’s favorite, fish and vegetables! The nutritious meals allowed Rhein to go from 10kg at the beginning of the feeding program to 13kgs.
Now free of malnourishment, she has been able to go to school every day. She is more active in class and enjoys making new friends. Her mother, Leni, is relieved that her child is no longer sickly, and grateful that she has one less thing to worry about as she works hard to sustain her family.