Marovoay, December 20th
My dearest friends,
we want to give you a good news, look at the pictures of this
baby in the enclosures: he’s always the same!
Since August, a new project has started at
the Mission of the Barefoot Carmelitan Fathers of Marovoay:
Children’s Nutritional Help.
Everything has begun with Florine’s case.
Do you remember it? Two year old, 4 kg, died at 8 months due to
malnutrition. A tragedy. Her picture had been seen by some volunteers
who had brought to the mission biscuits, clothes, feeding bottles and
homogenized food. We, then, bought the powdered milk. However, without a real intention the
project has started: Children’s Nutritional Help.
We are following about 30 cases.
Among these, there is Augustin, an about 7
month year old baby, now he weighs 5 kg, when his mother had come to
the mission in October, he was 5 months old and weighed only 3, 650
kg: he was sick and very under weight. We immediately sent him to the
hospital of Mahajanga. His mother returned to the dispensary of
Ambonomavo, after a week, as Augustin had been discharged from
We have given his mother the necessary milk
for a month, together with the homogenized food and the biscuits. Augustin lives at Madirolavo, a very far
village from Marovoay. One can only reach it by the ferry that goes
down the river Betsiboka. A month later his mother hadn’t come for
the check up and we were very worried beingafraid that he could have
died as Florine or that he was very ill. But a few days later Augustin’s elder
brother came to the mission saying that their mother hadn’t come
for the check up because she was afraid of facing the long trip and
besides she feared the raining season. However, his brother was ok
but food had ended. We gave him a can of powdered milk and told him
that it was necessary that they would bring the baby for the check
up, otherwise they wouldn’t have received any other aid.
On Deccember 13th,
here are Augustin and his mother: we couldn’t believe what was
before our eyes, another child.
You can imagine our joy.
We want to share this joy with you and thank
The causes of malnutrition are several:
Mother’s death during labour
Baby born premature
Low weight at birth
Poverty of the family
Twins (in these poor countries twins
are always at risk due to lack of milk for both and impossibility to
buy powdered milk due to its costs, even for richer families).
We let the families that live close to
Marovoay come every week to the Mission for a check up and in this
way they receive a can of powdered milk, homogenized food and
We also weigh the babies, write a medical
record according to age-weight. There are 3 bands:
The aim of the project is to bring all
children in the green section.
On Saturdays we teach mothers or who else
takes care of the babies how to prepare the babies’ food.
If the baby at the check up is sick, we pay
the medicines for the families who are poor and if they live too far,
we also pay a round-trip by taxi to avoid that they come to the
Mission under the hot sun on foot.
Unfortunately not all children are
successful as Augustin. We ask for prayers for the others.
With these pictures along with hope that
Augustin can live a normal life now, we wish you a happy New Year.
A hug from
and Father Bruno