April, 23, 2013
When the children arrived we got their height, weight, shirt size, shoe size, birthday and age. To obtain height, shoe size, and
shirt size it required measurements. In America you could ask a kid their shoe size and they would know but many kids in the
Philippines never owned a pair of shoes and had no idea their size. So each foot was measured. We also measured shoulder
width to know shirt size.
Some girls were shy to get on the scale in front of others and some kids were terrified of the scale and measuring tape. Even
when their parents tried to help weigh them or measure them they were still scared. To get measurements for those children we
would get them to stand by a wall and them mark the spot and measure it.
Filipinas on average are smaller than Americans but some of the weights and ages are small even by Philippines standards.
Here are some of the weights we found
John Carl Bermejo age 8 weight 35.2 pounds
John Michael Bermejo age 6 weight 28.6 pounds
Jusus Bermejo age 4 weight 24.2 pounds
This is just one example of some of the families with children who suffer malnutrition.
What is the solution to fight malnutrition?
It would seem giving the families food rations would be the way to combat malnutrition. I discovered some families ration out only
a small amount of food they give their children. Not sure exactly why they give their kids so little, It seems they just don’t want to
spend the money on food and give their kids just enough to live on but not enough to grow, that’s where you get 8 year old kids
who weigh 35 pounds. It’s not just parents giving small rations if we gave out food some parents might sell the food to buy beer
or gamble it away playing cards. It’s a sad thing to say but it is a reality that some kids live under.
The best way to ensure the children get fed is to feed the children ourselves at the action center located in Sampaguita. This
means the children will come to the center to eat so we know they are actually eating. This will allow us to monitor their growth
over time and make sure they get enough to grow.
One of the saddest situations I witnessed during registration was a little guy named Greedy. He was born in his house with a
midwife just across the path form where we were doing registration. His fathered named him Greedy because of how much milk
he consumed when he took his first feeding after birth. After his weight and measurements and he got his food I noticed him off to
the side alone eating. Most of the other kids ate together and laughed and joked, but Greedy just ate alone. Turns out his mother
left him and his father is gone all week working as a security guard and sometimes his father is gone two weeks at a time. He
has 3 older sisters ages 13, 12, and 7 who raise him. What makes his story so sad is his appearance. Greedy is around normal
size for Philippines 2 years old 19.8 pounds but he has a large belly. It reminded me of a kitten I found years ago that had a
bloated belly and it turned out it was worms. I don’t l know if Greedy has worms or not but it’s not normal for a child to have a
belly like that. Another sign of poor health is his skin. Most 2 year old children have soft baby feeling skin, Greedy’s skins feels
rough like what you would find on an old man. This was the reason for the registration to ascertain those most in need and
prioritize where to start.
Preparing the food Food cooked on an open fire tastes so good
Ella measures for shirt size while Mylene records Ella gets a measurement for shoe size
Soon we were flooded with kids This young girl fears the getting her feet measured
It was great to see the children eat Mylene serving food
This is Greedy he looks so sad but what kid would not be sad without a mother Here you can see his belly sticking out
how you can help