Eggs and tires. Here at Velvet Ashes we believe we can make the world a better place. With eggs and tires. During the month of December we will advocate for children and families in Haiti who suffer from malnutrition and perpetual poverty.
Our goal is to fund two projects through Pure Charity . The first is to supply an egg a day for a year for 30 Haitian children who are fighting malnutrition. The second is to supply startup materials for tire gardens for 50 families.
Our one-time donations goal is $2500.
Sally Todd (mother-in-law of our own Kimberly Todd) went on a short-term medical relief trip to Haiti in 2010. She returned to Haiti regularly for longer and longer stints. Finally, she retired from her career as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and with her husband, Robert, sold their property and log cabin in the Texas countryside. She signed on with Haiti Health Mission (HHM) and went to Gressier, Haiti where she provides healthcare for infants and children and support and education for mothers. She and Eunide, her Haitian apprentice, use Community Health Evangelism to teach mothers about the Redeemer that they may teach their children and families.
Sally’s exam room is uniquely child-friendly. The little ones run over to the mirror and play, and the bigger ones rearrange the chairs to their liking. The picture here is of the joy Sally hopes to see in them ALL. That joy is still the exception.
In this exam room Sally and her colleagues see horrors and wonders. Sally said, “When I meet them at the start of treatment every face is either sad or flat…expressionless, which is actually part of starving, detaching from life itself.”
There are currently 55 children in the malnutrition program. Thirty of the children who have progressed to moderate malnutrition receive one egg every day through a generous One Egg grant, which will end soon. Programs are designed to bring kids from severe to moderate to mild malnutrition. Sally keeps them longer because she wants them to be resilient when they get ill. She intentionally works to keep them from regressing.
Nadesh is the little girl in the pictures above. She entered Sally’s exam room as the skinny girl on the left. After receiving peanut butter supplements, she progressed from severe to moderate malnutrition. She sits next to her mom on the day she entered the One Egg program.
This part of the program is the long haul to get their weight to the next level (what would be the 3rd percentile in the US, meaning 97% of US kids weigh more than this!).
There are two reasons why the One Egg program is critical for these kids. The first is that any even mild illness can drive the recovering child back down to the severe level in no time. Secondly, if the child’s weight (and appearance) reaches that next level, the parents and the community believe that they will live; that they are worth feeding. The mother stops hearing, “she won’t live, she is cursed, don’t waste food on her.” This stage takes months.
This is where the VelvetAshes gift will go, to let these 30 kids know they are worth it.
There’s an unexpected side benefit to Nadesh’s treatment. Because mothers come every week for food, Nadesh’s mother gets to know the other mothers. They learn one other’s stories and accept each other as well as the children, many with special needs. Support groups have formed where mothers connect weekly on their day to visit the clinic with their child. At Velvet Ashes, we believe in the power of connecting women. No mother should feel like she’s alone.
At Haiti Health Mission support is a standard offering. The families receive aid, support and education from HHM and as a result, make significant strides towards holistic health.
A new opportunity has recently emerged for this impoverished community and it has HHM thrilled at the potential. Robert Todd is formerly a Texas certified Master Gardener. He and Sally attended a conference at ECHO in November where Robert was inspired to bring tire gardens to HHM.
A tire garden is made of old tires cut in half and painted a light color to keep the heat out of the soil. This along with healthy composted soil and seeds will be provided. If Velvet Ashes meets this goal, 50 families can be launched in tire gardening. These families will be given a start at sustainability, empowerment to grow food for their own households.
Eggs and tires. The extreme poverty and malnutrition commonplace in Haiti can be lessened with some eggs and old tires. The relationships built in the process and the opportunities to point to Jesus have eternal weight.
Will you join us in making a difference? Every donation goes toward feeding a child and family, heart and stomach. You can find our project on Pure Charity here and the link will live in the sidebar through December 31st.
Also, we would appreciate your willingness to share this with others who may want to participate. Thank you so much for being a part of this community and helping to accomplish something that matters!
You can follow the progress on the side bar of Velvet Ashes home page!
What part of this project excites you?