From the moment she was born, Rebeca had to face a hard reality. The world was a hazardous place for her. Her birth was risky for her mother because she was 41 and had her last baby 12 years earlier. Rebeca was born with a weight of 3.6 Kg. (7.92 Lb.) and 43 cm. in length. (16.5 Inches) measures located within the normal range.
By the time she was 9 months old, ChildFund’s local partner staff carried out her first early childhood development evaluation. She didn’t have enough strength in her back, legs and arms and was not yet crawling. It was the perfect moment to teach her mother some early development exercises that she could do with Rebeca at home to develop this fundamental skill. Rebeca was then able to make her first movements around her house.
Just one month before she turned one, we detected a new problem, Rebeca was losing weight very fast and she reached the Mild Acute malnutrition level. With the help of the Wiñay Mujo Project, local partner of ChildFund in Bolivia, Rebeca began taking vitamin supplements. Four months later Rebeca did gain weight, but her height was below the development standards and she still hadn’t taken her first steps, despite being 15 months old. The Wiñay Mujo doctor taught her family about early stimulation and appropriate exercises for Rebeca, to her family.
One year and 9 months later Rebeca’s growth and development were on track, but a new problem appeared, this time Rebeca was found to have parasites. She started losing weight very fast and doctors decided to explore the problem with more depth. We discovered a teenage aunt was taking care of Rebeca while her mother went out to work. Although Rebeca wasn’t enrolled, only her older brothers were, we invited the family to take Rebeca to the ECD center in the Wiñay Mujo Project, the Child Center in Santa Mónica neighborhood.
It is key to callout an early evaluation in growth and development for toddlers, before they reach the age of 2, then it is still easy to recover bad nutrition and development conditions, after this age it is more difficult to retrieve a healthy weight.
Today, Rebeca is 3 years and a half, she received all the vaccinations for her age and her growth and psycomotor development is adequate for her age.
Her family’s love and the support of ChildFund helped Rebeca to overcome these hard first steps in life. Our local partner Wiñay Mujo works with another 360 children with similar problems as Rebeca’s- They support children from 8 months to 5 years old with stimulation activities, proper nutrition and learning through play.