Isabela Alonzo is a 25-year-old mother of three living in Santa Avelina, Cotzal. Her youngest child was born with a disability. For this single income family living in a one-room house and working hard to make ends meet, raising a child with a disability is a huge challenge.
Isabela’s husband, Gaspar, is a day-labourer and bricklayer’s assistant while Isabela stays home full-time with the kids.
When FH began a partnership with their community less than two years ago, Isabela was not interested in getting involved. She believed the meetings were a waste of time as attendees did not receive any handouts. In spite of her disinterest, FH field staff cheerfully visited her at home, anyway. They explained how many of the meetings were safe spaces to gather with other women and learn about health and nutrition that could help her better care for her family. Eventually, she decided to give it a try.
And she loved it. “It has been a great blessing to be part of the FH program and share with my neighbours,” Isabela explains. “Thanks to the ideas and training I have learned a lot about taking care of my family and especially watching over the health of my children.”
Previously, Isabela did not understand why her youngest son didn’t eat and had no appetite. Through FH health training, she now understands how to stimulate and nurture her son into improved health. To help get her son up to weight, FH even helped her with solutions and nutritional supplements to get him eating again.
Isabela has now been a member of a Cascade health group for one year. Before COVID-19 brought meeting restrictions to her community, she actively participated in all the trainings. Now she receives regular visits from the Leader Mother of her group who helps her with hygiene and nutrition. Sometimes Isabela gets to accompany her on visits to other mothers and share from her personal experience nurturing her own family, always taking care to observe COVID-19 protocols and prevent the spread of the virus. During this turbulent year, Isabela is especially grateful for the food bags FH provided to their community to help them weather this time of shortage.
While receiving this practical support, Isabela comments that she now understands ideas and knowledge are even more important than receiving help or food. She’s seen that when she puts into practice new health techniques, she has the power to change her family for the better. She feels that the knowledge she’s gained makes her a person with greater value who is capable of achieving what she sets out to do and recognizes there is still so much to learn.
Today, Isabela’s family is filled with hope and excited about the future God has for them. They believe he has given them great potential and that they are able to contribute to the development of not only their own family, but also their community. She concludes, “I also ask that you pray for my family, especially for my youngest son Juan Castro García who is in the process of getting his little body properly formed due to his physical disability from birth.”