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Milk Project
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23
Dec

Coming up for 2015

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I’m very excited to share about the changes we have in store in 2015 for Little Changes, and specifically our Milk Project.  The Milk Project has a special place in our hearts here at Little Changes because it was the project that launched the entire organization, and it has been a joy for the entire LCI team to see how it has continued to grow and impact the community in Mozambique.

 

What’s new for 2015?

We are starting a sponsorship program for the babies that come into the Milk Program.  Before, when you donated, you were simply making a general donation to the program.  Now, when you donate to the Milk Project, you will be paired with a baby.  You will receive a picture and a story for your baby as well as updates on the baby’s progress.  All it takes is $30 per month – just $1 a day – to sponsor one of these precious babies.  For those who prefer one-time donations, a $180 donation sponsors one child for the six months that the baby is in the program.

 

So, what exactly is the Milk Project?

The Milk Project is a weekly clinic, combined with home visits, specifically operated for newborn babies in desperate need of nutrition and healthy growth.  Typically, this means a regular supply of infant formula at a weekly check-up to make sure that the newborn is healthy and growing.

 

Why formula?  Isn’t breastmilk preferred over infant formula?

Yes, breastmilk is the preferred choice.  Studies have shown breastmilk to provide improved nutrition over formula, even before considering the cost of formula.  Before a baby is admitted into the Milk Project, a licensed nurse performs an evaluation to determine that breastfeeding is not a viable option.

 

What are the typical causes for breastfeeding to be unfeasible?

We usually see one of the following three causes.

 

Insufficient Milk Production is the most common cause.  Malnutrition affects many mothers in the area, making it difficult to provide a full supply of milk.  Severe breast infections and abscesses also constrict supply.  Recently, we have seen an influx of twins and the mother is unable to produce enough for both babies.  In these cases, formula is incorporated alongside normal breastfeeding practices.

 

HIV in babies is to be avoided at all costs.  An antiretroviral (ARV) treatment just before pregnancy has become quite effective at preventing transmission from an HIV-positive mother to the baby.  Since HIV can still be passed through breast milk, formula is the preferred alternative in cases with HIV-positive mothers.

 

A Deceased Mother is unfortunately an all-too-real situation.  A family member will look after the orphaned baby, but does not have the means to buy the infant formula.  In some cases, the mother has not passed but is too sick to care for the baby.

 

MilkProject Web

How has the Milk Project changed in the last three years?

The most noticeable change has been the number of babies.  When Little Changes started, we typically saw 10-15 babies each week.  Now, we see 40-45 babies each week!  There has been no change in our policy to explain the growth; it has simply been by word of mouth from mothers who have seen their baby helped by the Milk Program.

 

We also have a fully Mozambican staff now.  Our lead nurse, Fatima, is able to connect at a much deeper level with the mothers and this is a reason why we have seen such growth.  It is so encouraging to see Mozambicans serving other Mozambicans!

 

With your generosity, we can continue to grow in our village and to surrounding communities.  We have grown so much in these three years and we hope to continue to grow, so please consider making a donation to this beautiful project and sharing with your friends and family.

 

Sincerely,

Alex Moore

President of Little Changes International

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1
Oct

Joyful Singing- Mozambique

Alex Moore is the president of Little Changes International and recently travelled to Mozambique to visit LCI’s Milk Project.  The following blog post captures his thoughts from the trip.

I recently had the opportunity to fly to Mozambique to see the progress of our Milk Project and get a report from our team there in the city of Beira and the small village of Manga where we have the clinic.  I was accompanied by Justin and Kirby Betancourt of Ambient Studios (Pearland, TX) who came to capture video of the clinic and photos of the surrounding areas.  The video for the Milk Project is coming out soon, and it is incredible!  They are so talented, and it was such a blessing to the team to have them there to show the wonderful work being done in Mozambique.

The Milk Project has a special place in my heart, because I saw the project in its infancy while living in Mozambique in 2011.  Soon thereafter, LCI became a nonprofit organization and the Milk Project was its first official project.  It had been almost three years since I had last visited, so I was excited to see familiar faces but somewhat worried to see how things had changed in that time.

The team showed up on Wednesday – a day before the weekly milk clinic on Thursday – to set up the film equipment for the following day.  The clinic is held in the same building since the beginning, but I was immediately struck by the growth in the surrounding neighborhood.  Manga, still a village on the outskirts of the larger Beira, has seen much population growth in a short amount of time. I met some of the families in the area and had some time to speak with Fatima, our R.N. who heads the local team there.

 

Milk Clinic

The women wearing their best outfits, waiting for their babies to be seen.

 

The next morning, we showed up promptly at 9am for the milk clinic, only to hear the loud voices of women singing.  “They’ve been here for 30 minutes and they haven’t stopped singing!” our volunteer Catarina explained to us.  It was the mothers and caretakers who have children being helped by the clinic.  They wanted to make it clear to their American visitors how grateful they were for the clinic.  It was a powerful moment.  The rest of the day flew by.  Even though we have almost 40 babies each week, the clinic takes just about two hours.  Fatima spends personal time with each mother/caretaker to really assess how each baby is doing.  She takes the measurements and makes notes and Catarina passes out the week’s supply of milk.  The film team interviewed some of the women; some of them came from very difficult backgrounds, but what an encouragement to hear how Fatima and the rest of the LCI team invested in the life of the women and their babies!

 

 

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A mother and her children at the Milk Project

 

For the rest of our time, we were out in the community, meeting families who have been helped by the clinic.  It was amazing to see how much they respect Fatima and the work she does.  To them, she is the face of Little Changes. Multiple ladies told us that they had nothing when they showed up on the first day to the milk clinic.  This is where the Milk Project has advanced the most. Before, the Thursday morning clinic was the focal point of the project.  Now, it is the weekly family visits that have become the focus.  “This is how we can make the most impact,” Fatima informs me.  “Caring for the babies is more than just the milk.  I have to see the conditions and work with the women in a more holistic approach.

Before I left, I asked Fatima if she thought we were doing God’s work out here. Her reply summed it up so well.  “Yes, this is God’s work because we are doing what Jesus did.  He was in the community with the people and we are saving lives.  Maybe we aren’t doing it miraculously – raising the dead to life or causing the lame to walk again – but we are saving the lives of these babies.  Definitely God’s work here.

 

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A grandmother feeding her baby the formula