BEFORE & AFTER BERTA
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Making a Difference with Berta
It has been a few weeks since arriving home from my most recent trip to Korah and I am finally sitting down to write my first blog post in a long time! Believe me – it is not because Korah has not been on my mind… it has been - everyday! There are so many stories I want to share and I have been spending the last week or so creating personal photo journals of our sponsored families for each of our sponsors. They have all brought much excitement and hope to their Korah families. (I am hoping it will work to post a few of these photo journals on the blog…)
I cannot adequately express how thankful I am to each person who has prayed, supported and is making a difference in the lives of the children and families living in Korah. I don’t direct this only to the sponsors – but to EVERYONE who has played such an important role in making a difference in Korah… I know I say this often…but it is amazing to experience this on so many different levels – we truly are working together for HOPE!
There are many ways that people are making a difference and it is hard to know where to begin. Over the next few weeks I hope to share some of them, but for today, I thought I would start with what is making an undeniably HUGE difference in the lives of the children – the Berta Breakfast Program!
For those of you who have been following Hope for Korah posts, you will know that the Berta Program kicked off during the first week of May this year. It is a breakfast program which serves a porridge-like substance specifically designed for malnourished children. How this program began is a God story of its own and you can read our earlier post “Be the Change, Save aLife!” for that story.
For me, to come back to Korah 4 months later and witness first hand the difference this program was making was affirming and brought much joy to my heart. I had to be up early in the morning to see this program in action! The cooks are busy preparing the fire and making the Berta long before the children begin arriving and breakfast is served at 7:30 a.m. I cannot tell you how many times I had mothers coming up and thanking me – YOU – for the Berta program. It has brought a peace of mind and renewed strength to see their children eating, gaining weight and becoming stronger.
Where I saw the biggest change was in the toddlers. When I first met these families in April, there were numbers of mothers with babies at their breast. They all looked small and younger than their age with most of them being between 12- 30 months old. Many were irritated, lethargic and constantly in their mother’s arms or on her breast. They all ate very little solid food, if any and the little amount of milk they received from their mother (who ate very little herself) was not full of the nutrients and vitamins they needed. These children were hungry and unhappy and they looked much different then they do today! I couldn’t believe how much bigger they seemed. They were like real toddlers – toddling around, exploring and a little fuller featured. What a blessing!
This mom was very sick in her bed, with baby at her breast &
older brother looking on.
Only 4 months later....
This mom & her 20 month old son in April
4 months of eating Berta later...
One More Little one to share.... Before (L) and After (R)
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Berta Program. We recently added a few more children to the program and we are hoping that it will grow to include many more as funds and resources permit.
I hope you enjoy a few more precious faces below….