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Early stage health is crucial

The future of the central nervous system is determined in the first 14/18 months of life. If during that period a child does not receive a sufficient amount of nutrients and stimulation, the brain development will be affected with important risk of suffering mental weakness. The problem is that often, mothers not only lack money to feed their children, but also lack education and do not know how to take care of them. Many associations, such as the Asociacion Civil Pequenos Pasos invests their human and social capital to work on preventing this from happening at different locations in Argentina.

Photo of Louis Biret
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What is the problem, or challenge?

The mayor problems in the slums of Argentina is the poverty and extreme vulnerability: about 25% of the population is under basic needs, without drinkable water, no drains and high unemployment.
Therefore, the general aim is to prevent infant malnutrition, provide assistance for the undernourished children and educate mothers as the main health and care agents of their children.

How does the Asociation Civil Pequenos Pasos solve this problem?

Our challenge is to manage the undernourishment problem, mostly a consequence of the extreme poverty and low education, focusing on the whole problem, with commitment from the whole community and institutional programs. Our essential pillars are: nutritional and pediatric attention, integral stimulation, literary and games workshops, social assistance and family education and promotion.

Potential Long Term Impact

If we start working with the urgent problem and also educating the mother and kids on this matters, in the long term, all the families will benefit through the learning of better habits incorporated by the mothers who attend our program.
And consequently, the whole community will be positively affected. It is a slow, but efficient way of working with this kind of communities, which have urgently needs to be atended, but also a long future to take care of.

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Photo of Chioma Ume

Hi Louis! Thanks for this post! Engaging whole communities is something that has been brought up a number of times in the research phase and its interesting to be able to learn about different approaches to doing this. For example, here's a post from an organization working to provide holistic healthcare to communities: https://openideo.com/profiles/112560773297491357196. I'm interested to know - how do you get the commitment of the whole community for your work?