Community Name: Fitche
This plains community is home to approximately 51,000 residents. The average age a woman in Fitche becomes a mother for the first time is 18, and the average number of children per household is five. Most adults work as subsistence farmers and earn the equivalent of $18 per month. Common health issues include pneumonia, intestinal parasites, tuberculosis and eye infections. Illiteracy is high and access to appropriate health information is minimal.
Lives to Be Enhanced: Currently 35 mothers and 35 children
Open Since: February 2010
Center Name: Fitche Evangelical Mekane Yesus Child Survival Program
Funding Request: $20/month Commitment
Physical (Nutrition and Health Care): $10,500
Cognitive (Literacy and Income Generation): $2,800
You church can participate in this CSP by offering $20 monthly commitments to families in your congregation. To fully fund this project we need 104 commitments. When you register, we will send you commitment cards based on the size of your audience. When we all come together, we can reach our goal quickly.
Born into Poverty
Babies in the developing world are the most defenseless people on the planet. Last year 7.6 million died before their fifth birthday; 98.7 percent of them were born in nations wracked by poverty. Their common causes of death — disease and malnutrition — are preventable.
Starting Well, Growing Strong
Poverty can be defeated, but the battle requires time and resources — which is the reason Compassion International works to expand our Child Survival Program (CSP). For babies to survive, resources must be directed toward their mothers. They need access to prenatal care, trained birth attendants, proper nutrition, clean water, vaccinations, and early childhood training. Properly equipped mothers have a better chance of seeing their children escape poverty and fulfill God’s plan for their lives.
Working in partnership with local churches, trained Survival Specialists help pregnant women and mothers of at-risk children ages 0-3 lay a foundation for future health by addressing physical, cognitive, spiritual and socio-emotional needs of mothers and children. Mothers also receive training in oral-rehydration therapy, breast-feeding, literacy, birth spacing, and income generation. Children benefit from nutrition supplements, immunizations, motor-skills development, cognitive stimulation, and socialization. Above all, trained Survival Specialists share the Word of God, refuting the destructive voice of fatalism instilled by poverty.
Measures of Success
Compassion seeks four outcomes in the life of the child and four in the life of the mother:
- The child is physically healthy; self-confident, exhibiting healthy relationships; curious, interacting with his or her world and communicating experiences; and able to demonstrate an awareness of the love of God. For each outcome there are three to five specific indicators that program workers monitor and document.
- The mother exhibits sufficient health to provide for her child’s wellbeing; self-confidence, healthy relationships and resilience to care for her child’s basic needs; the motivation and skills to be economically self-supporting; and a demonstrable commitment to the lordship of Christ. Each of these outcomes includes one to three specific indicators.
CSP at a Glance
UNICEF says: “Highly cost-effective interventions are feasible even at the community level, and most can be linked with preventative and curative interventions for mothers and for babies. For example, early postnatal home visits are effective in promoting healthy behaviors such as breastfeeding and clean cord care as well as in reaching new mothers. Case management of neonatal infections can be provided alongside treatment of childhood pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. Care at birth brings a triple return on investment, preventing stillbirths and saving mothers and newborns.”
Compassion’s Child Survival Program provides exactly these kinds of interventions and continues care through age 3. First implemented in August 2003, this program now serves more than 55,000 mothers and children in 20 countries. In less than 10 years, Compassion has developed and refined a program that can be replicated with consistent results.
As of December 31, 2012, there were 648 Child Survival Program centers in 20 countries. These serve more than 27,800 babies and their mothers. Among the indicators showing the program’s lifesaving effectiveness:
- A skilled attendant was present at 92 percent of all CSP births. The global average for developing countries is 66 percent.
- Only 4 percent of babies were born into the program underweight. In the developing world, the rate is 15 percent.
- Five out of 27,343 CSP mothers died in the past year. The maternal mortality ratio in the developing world is 290 deaths out of every 100,000.3
- During the 12 months ending in June 2012, 3,961 CSP mothers made first-time professions of faith in Christ.