Photographs by Eliz Nuevo, volunteer photographer
Joy, 4, loves to draw, color books, and play with her friends in their neighborhood. For most who have met Joy, she seems to be a normal happy child, but little did her family know that her health has been at risk for some time now. Joy was found to be malnourished.
Joy’s mother, Riza, didn’t think much of her daughter’s condition, but if not treated properly can actually lead to an increased risk of mortality, according to the World Health Organization. This condition will not only stunt Joy’s growth and development but also stunt her potential for a better future. This condition affects many children from very poor families in our country. And with Riza and her husband earning, at the most, P300.00 per day, there was not much else they could do to help Joy.
When Operation Blessing visited their community, Joy was selected to participate in the Bless-A-Child (BAC) program which is a six-month feeding program for malnourished to severely wasted children. Although the location of the feeding center is roughly two (2) hours away from their home, Riza persists in making the daily journey to allow Joy to take part in eating the prepared healthy meals.
Riza was further encouraged to continue bringing Joy to the feeding center when she saw changes in her child. Joy weighed 9.6kg at the beginning of the BAC project and now she weighs 14kg! Riza has also noticed how even more active and playful Joy has become.
With tears in her eyes, Riza was so grateful for Operation Blessing’s support sharing, “I am really grateful because Joy was selected for this project. We cannot provide her with the food she has been able to eat here…” There is indeed so much joy in Riza and her daughter for what the project has been able to provide for their family.
Let us continue to help more children out of malnutrition! Our Bless-A-Child (BAC) project needs you. Join us in this advocacy by clicking here.