Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hunger Pains

It was Monday, my first day with the medical team in Haiti and I was triaging the children at the orphanage. I would ask if they were having any problems, any pain.
photo credit: Junia Mulia
The first little boy (pictured above and below) came and sat down in the little chair next to mine. He responded to my question by telling me that his stomach hurt. I asked for further details, like when did it hurt? He told me it hurt because he was hungry. What do I say? What do I tell a little boy who is hungry that it's probably because he needs to be eating more and more than the 2 times a day the children are fed. Because that's not really an option for him. I wanted to sneak him my extra granola bar, but we've been told that to do something like that is extremely unwise, unless we want a mob scene on our hands. I wished I had an extra granola bar for all of the kids.
photo credit: John Bone
We had been told that the children had previously only had white rice to eat and that recently beans had been added to their diets, which was somewhat encouraging but also very sad to me. I kept thinking that if the people back home knew that there were kids eating only rice for every meal, that they'd want to do something about it. The thought of eating only rice and beans everyday is not something I had ever thought of and it sounded horrible. Maybe not horrible when your only option is nothing to eat.
The day before I had seen a young boy who looked to be about 9 years old and was told he was actually more like 15 years old. It wasn't hard to figure out that undernutrition was a big factor in this. Many of the children in Haiti did look younger than they actually were. (For more information on undernutrition:

I love food and I love eating. It is so easy to justify spending money on food, because everyone has to eat! But instead of eating out even just that one time, what if you spent that money on sponsoring a child? I know solving the problem of hunger isn't going to be solved by sponsoring one child, but for that one child it makes all the difference to know that someone cares for them.

El Shaddai Ministries International, the organization I went with to Haiti, says that it cost's $90/child to pay for different needs, including support the mission itself (housing, food, house moms, teachers, staff, pastor, facility, and grounds maintenance, etc.). They do give the option of support at $30, $60 or the full $90/mo or just a one-time gift.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child from Haiti, please comment below or send me an email at and I can send you more information!

And you get a really nice picture of a super cute kid, like this one:
photo credit: John Bone

Here are some other highly reliable organizations where you can sponsor a child:

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