Banasa graduated 343 mothers participants of the “Happy Families” program.

BANASA GRADÚA A 343 MADRES PARTICIPANTES DEL PROGRAMA “FAMILIAS FELICES”

Guatemala, October 2013. Banasa, aware of the importance of the family in the development of communities, implemented the program “HAPPY FAMILIES”, for mothers and children under the age of 5 aiming to empower families in issues among others of: food security, nutrition, community based organization and self – sustaining activities to improve their lives.

The program “”Happy Families”” was launched by Banasa, implemented for a period of 39 months in alliance with: Sesan, The Red Cross, volunteer firemen, Ocos municipality, Catholic and Evagelical Churches, Community Councils for Development of the villages of Pomal, Los Encuentros, Carrizal, Barillas and Chiquirines. This program seeked promoting nutrition and improving the health and living conditions of families belonging to communities in the Southwest of Guatemala (Retalhuleu, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos).

“Happy Families”” was an innovative program whose main objetive was to reduce malnutrition, lower infant’s mortality rate, improve school performance of children, increase productivity and contribute towards the development of the community. As a result, malnutrition rate was reduced by 22%.

The program was launched in May 2009, since then, 390 women and 447 children under the age of 5 were enrolled. Upon completion of the program 343 women were trained and graduated in nutrition, hygine, food preparation, reproductive health, first aid and self-esteem among other topics of interest. Thanks to the alliance with USAID, families from this program received water filters and wood conserving stoves.

At the graduation ceremony, Hilda Alvarado, the coordinator of the program stated: “”it all began with height and weight measurements of children 0 to 5 years of age, finding out that 50% of them presented signs of chronic and acute malnutrition. Upon completion of the program the assesment of 477 children revealed that 78% of them were above the normal curve.”

Emilio Maldonado, major of Coatepeque, thanked Banasa for their effort and investment in activities carried out in the areas of health, education and disaster mitigation. “The resources that public institutions have always been limited to cover the needs of the population, therefore all the help that the Private Sector can provide to mitigate this issues wil always be welcomed and thanked.”

Bernardo Roehrs, Banasa’s Coorporate Director, commented that the corporation will continue to support this program through an alliance with the University of Colorado: “Our intention is to keep contributing towards improving health and living condition of the population in the region.”

Among the main achievements of the program are:

  • Reduction of malnutrition by 22%.
  • Training of mothers in self-substainable and preventive health interventions to improve living conditions of mother and child, their families and their communities.
  • Teaching women about nutritional aspects such as: adequate food preparation, consumption and better use of their resources to ensure a healthy and well balanced diet.
  • Srengthening community based organizations by promoting self-substaining activities to provide food security and nutrition.