At age 4, Mariabel is not able to walk or speak yet, which the doctors say is a congenital problem. To make things more complicated, she is a very sickly child.
She spends most of her days inside their home in Luklukan Sur, Camarines Norte, playing on the floor with her two younger siblings. She is not able to go outside on her own, so sometimes her mother, Annabel, 22, has to carry her outside just to get some sun.
Mariabel’s father, Gilbert, 27, supports the family by working as a gold panner. His wife tries to help in their finances by doing other people’s laundry. But even as hard as they work they are not able to earn enough to provide all of what their family needs. Their financial situation greatly affected Mariabel’s health in that they were not able to provide regular nutritious food, making her severely malnourished.
When Operation Blessing visited their community, Mariabel was invited to join the Bless-A-Child Program, a year-long daily feeding program. She is now in her fifth month of the program and has gone from just 7kgs to 10 kgs. based on their monthly medical examinations.
Mariabel greatly enjoys coming to the feeding area. She likes the healthy meals served to her and the other kids who are part of the program. Each time they come, they learn new and helpful skills like how to brush their teeth, how to wash their hands, and how to socialize with other children.
Not only is Mariabel learning, her mother, Annabel, also gets to attend training on parenting, health education, livelihood, disaster response, and financial savings. And as a way to help improve the economic situation of the family, Annabel was granted a new sewing machine that she now uses to make and sell clothes and other garments in their community.
With all the help and moral support that Annabel and Mariabel’s family is now receiving from Operation Blessing through you, our partners, hope is instilled in their hearts. They have greater hope for the future knowing that they are not alone and that everything is possible with God.
Help us reach out to more undernourished children in the country! Let’s make this season a different one for us! Learn more about our children’s program by calling 477-78-02.