The Child Survival Program Solution

The Child Survival Program Solution

By: Ovetta Sampson   |   Posted: July 23, 2008

Brothers Jean Carlo and Jean Pier, so malnourished as toddlers they were the size of potato sacks, are alive today because of supporters of the Child Survival Program.

Like all of Compassion's programs, the primarily home-based Child Survival Program is holistic in nature. It addresses several areas of growth critical to a child's healthy development. Below are details on how the Celim Child Survival Program workers helped rescue Jean Carlo and Jean Pier Taco, brothers from Peru, from the brink of death using a holistic child development approach.

When Celim CSP workers found Jean Carlo and Jean Pier Taco, the toddlers were so malnourished each weighed less than 15 pounds. They could barely hold their heads up. They couldn't walk. And they rarely talked. CSP staff worked for months nurturing the boys' physical, developmental and intellectual development. Here's how the Child Survival Program helped the boys in each area:

  • Physically Thanks to CSP donors, Celim could offer the boys milk, eggs, bread and other necessary food. Slowly they began to grow. Twice a month the boys' mother, Martha Taco, received a bag of groceries. And she also got a brightly colored triangle showing her a "food pyramid." Complete with pictures of fish, chicken, bread and milk, the triangle let Martha know how much of each food category she needed to give her family at each meal. Thirty percent meat and 60 percent bread, grains, milk and the rest veggies. "I didn't know this," Martha says. "I didn't know how to raise my children. At the CSP I learned so much."
  • Developmentally Celim has a physical therapist that works with all the children attending the Child Survival Program, but the therapist especially helps children like Jean Carlo and Jean Pier. The therapist works with a child's arms and legs, helping toddlers who have had months of inactivity learn to crawl and walk and develop other fine motor skills. The simple act of holding a ball was impossible for the brothers because they had no muscle growth due to lack of nutrition.
  • Intellectually Regularly Jean Carlo and Jean Pier are taken to the Celim CSP center. Thanks to faithful CSP donors, the center offers children many toys to use to help develop fine motor skills as well as language and math skills. Covered with bright blue paintings, the center has trucks, books, kid-size tables and chairs, balls, carpet decorated with letters and numbers, shelves and shelves of toys, and anything a child could want. "I love to play, to paint and to work at the center," says Jean Pier, now 5. Then he bursts into a song: "I moved my hands for God, I move my hands for God," he chirps. "I move my hands, I move my hands, I only move my hands for God."
  • Spiritually Attending the Celim Child Survival Program allowed the Taco family to discover Jesus. "When we started the program, 90 percent of 100 mothers were not Christians," says Pastor Doris Cajo of Selim de Cristo, or Seed of Life, church. The church operates the Celim Child Survival Program. "In the beginning they came because they wanted the food supplies. But then they understood that it was about God. The mothers get together every week and study the Bible. It's amazing."

Martho Taco says the Child Survival Program is a miracle, not only for rescuing her son but also for saving her soul. "I know God was the one who created the Child Survival Program," she says, "and I am very thankful."

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