A few young women from our Nutrition Program are single moms and other young patients are chronically ill and have no income and little education. I have always loved to knit and have an interest in jewelry making. The clinic has been able to raise extra income with selling of beaded jewelry. One former graduate of Asuncion, from a town on Lake Atitlan, a few hours from our Mission, is very talented in making of jewelry. She is now an auxilliar nurse and a young friend of mine. I invited her here this weekend to teach some young women this art of jewelry making and hopefully a means of income for these young women. I also included a young woman from our parish who is active in Youth Ministry as a possible person to continue to teach jewelry making to others, to form maybe a club or association. Yesterday was the first class and Rebecca will continue today teaching making earrings and beaded rings. I provided the materials I had stored away from past projects and also snack, lunch, and space to work.
All the young women are under 18 years with the exception of a young insulin dependent diabetic; she is 20 years old. Two of the young single moms are under 15 and part of our nutrition class. Unfortunately they had their infants by Caesarean in the National Hospital. The infants are not given to their moms at birth and when they return home, without breast feeding instruction, and days without breast feeding, their milk has dried up. I have talked to our Doctor EVER, who works one 18 hour shift a week in this hospital, to see how to change this practice. We do attempt our breast pump and a medicinal plant to produce the milk but usually to no avail. It is too late for breast milk so they are part of nutrition project to provide some formula, prevent malnutrition and assist them in caring for their infants.