Where TMI Is Not A Problem: Rose Has A Lot To Share


As a parent to two children, one of the things that I am most thankful for is the internet. If my tween-aged son is pushing parental boundaries in an unexpected way, I can google it. When my 6-year-old daughter is throwing a screaming tantrum that would make one of Tolkien’s Ring-wraiths blush, I scan some favorite parenting blogs for advice.  

One thing parents like me are definitely not lacking these days is relevant and available information. Amazon.com lists more than 240,000 books in its’ “Parenting & Relationships” category. Search Google for “parenting blog” and you will get about 504,000 results.  While sorting through contradictory opinions and knowing which sources are most trustworthy can prove challenging at times, access to information is clearly not a problem.

Step outside of the online context of the developed world and you will see a very different story: overabundance of anything material is rare, including books and websites about how to be a better parent.  

One such place is the small, rural town of Rio Azul, located in the municipality of Nebaj, Guatemala. Here, books are rare, blogs are unknown, and social networking is only done face to face. Here, parents aren’t just struggling with problems of undesirable behaviors in their children, they’re dealing with chronic malnutrition, lack of clean water, and lack of knowledge about healthy childcare practices.
Rosa Santiago Ceto is a local woman who wants to help those struggling parents. The mother of 5 children, Rosa was chosen by others in her community to join their community’s Leader Mothers Cascade Group because of her parenting abilities and her strong desire to help others. As part of the Leader Mothers group, Rosa receives training from FH staff on health education topics such as the importance and practicalities of prenatal care, exclusive breastfeeding, providing complete nutrition, and monitoring growth in young children.  

Immediately following her training, Rosa excitedly shares her newfound knowledge with her “Circle of Neighbours” via regular home visits. More recent lessons have included “talking to your baby with love” and “communicating to your baby while breastfeeding and at mealtimes”. Rosa reports, “now the mothers are learning how they should feed their children, talking to them with love, and being careful with what food they give them. I learn along with them.”  

My parents didn’t adequately take care of me and I didn’t have the opportunity to go to school for a lack of resources and opportunities. But being a part of [the Leader Mothers group] has taught me new things... what I would like is for the mothers in my neighbourhood to continue practicing the lessons they’ve been taught so that the children grow better.

Rosa has found that in her quest to spread valuable childcare information, one of the more significant obstacles is a lack of interest from some mothers. Whether because some mothers would rather follow traditional methods, or are held back by pride, or simply do not have the energy for a lesson, Rosa persists. Her response to this apathy communicates the care and humility that characterize her as a leader: “With the help of God and the FH promoter, I have learned to have patience because everything I do is with love and to please God.”  

Rosa not only volunteers with the FH-sponsored Leader Mothers group, she is also a leader in her local church and a participant in a local Savings and Loans Group.  “But”, she states, “I like to visit and teach the mothers more than anything about adequately taking care of their children.”

Like many others, her personal history informs her present sense of mission:My parents didn’t adequately take care of me since they were busy with other things. I didn’t have the opportunity to go to school for a lack of resources and opportunities. But being a part of [the Leader Mothers group] has taught me new things, one of which is that children are a blessing from the Lord, and what I would like is for the mothers in my neighbourhood circle to continue practicing the lessons they’ve been taught so that the children grow better.”  

She may not ever have her own parenting blog or website, but that isn’t going to stop Rosa from doing whatever she can to share better childcare practices with her neighbours, and to inspire the women around her to become community leaders through her own determined example.



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Food for the Hungry: Where TMI Is Not A Problem: Rose Has A Lot To Share
Where TMI Is Not A Problem: Rose Has A Lot To Share
Food for the Hungry
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