ends April 2nd
During this birthday season we have a fundraising goal of $5,000.
Is it a lofty goal? Yes.
Is it impossible? Absolutely not! 

Read the birthday blog for encouraging before and after photos. 
The Birthday Fundraiser
We need funds. Can you help? 
Co-founders Jenn Schenk and Amy Syres both get a year older around this time of year. Actually, Amy just celebrated her 27th birthday on March 21st and Jenn will turn 26 on April 1st--in less than a week! We think birthdays are momentous occasions that should be commemorated. Sadly, many of the mothers we serve are merely surviving from one month to the next and are not in a position to rejoice when their child reaches a birthday milestone. A mom might see her child reach his first birthday, but will he make it to his 2nd? 

There's simply not a nicer way to put it. Together, poverty and preventable disease take lives. 3.1 million children in the developing world die annually because of poor nutrition. One in 14 Haitian children won't live to see their 5th birthday.

At Second Mile Haiti we work to combat the uncertainty that families face when caring for their children. First, a mom is given the tools she needs to nutritionally rehabilitate her infant or young child (i.e. Medika Mamba, medicine, clean water, and food)  while simultaneously learning how to prevent malnutrition and other common illnesses. Beyond that, she participates in targeted education and skills training [at our facility] so that when she leaves she can participate in the local economy with success. These very same women are given the opportunity to start sustainable micro-business, thus gaining the resources needed to care for and feed their children, now and in the future. 

We've seen that with this comprehensive approach we can help families in Haiti change direction entirely--from funerals to birthdays!--and for as little as $250 per family. In honor of birthday's everywhere, can you help us today? 
What's NEW at Second Mile Haiti? 
NEW at Second Mile Haiti

Recently, thanks to our friends at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, the education center was outfitted with desks, tables, and some new chalkboards. With the addition of these useful fixtures, we were able to start literacy classes for the moms. Now, twice a week, the moms are learning how to read, write, and perform basic math. It's incredibly empowering! 

Moms and Babes

This year we have already seen 4 children successfully transition out of the recovery program. With a remaining 7 children (and their moms) still currently at the site. We are so pleased that the healthcare component of our program is going so well. We are seeing the children make huge gains in their health while the mothers improve in their understanding of healthcare, nutrition, and disease prevention concepts. Prevention, prevention, prevention! We often post the "before and after" photos on our Facebook page. Go LIKE the page if you haven't already so that you don't miss out on these encouraging stories and photos. 

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Jobs for Teens-A Partnership with Streethearts

Streethearts is an organization that works to provide aid, education, and opportunities to the children living on the streets of Cap Haitien. One facet of their organization is a workforce program which gives vulnerable teens a chance at employment. Because of the partnership between SMH and Streethearts, 4 young men from Cap Haitien are learning responsible job skills while earning an income to help keep themselves off the streets. This job, in our gardens, is their first job and an amazing opportunity! 

Meet Ms. Prestina Charles! 

Second Mile Haiti has a new team-member. Our new Haitian nurse, Ms. Prestina is a recent graduate of nursing school in Cap Haitien, Haiti. She loves children and is passionate about teaching women how to keep themselves, their children, and their communities in good health! We enjoy her fun-personality and are impressed by her skill. Welcome, Prestina! 

From the garden with love 

Those of you who have dabbled in summer vegetable gardening know what it takes to grown food. Inevitably there will be lots of sweat, a bit of blood, and maybe even a few tears. Thankfully, there were no tears this season! All of the crops did well under irrigation and the dedicated hands of the Second Mile gardeners. We are now harvesting beans, green onions, spinach, and plantains. The beets, onions, carrots, corn, and tomatoes will be ready soon, followed by cabbage and sorghum.

Even the cows contribute [their manure] to the gardens. 

Our Wishlist 

We recently had the opportunity to work with a 17 year old mother and her 6 week old baby. The tiny baby was not breastfeeding because the young mom didn't think she had "enough" milk to nourish her child. We needed to do everything possible to help this baby succeed at breastfeeding. 
Breastmilk is the safest option for most infants in Haiti. Formula is expensive! We needed a breastpump! Thankfully we were able to borrow one from a nearby birthing center. Mom was astonished to see that she did in fact have milk. The pump helped increase her milk supply while the baby was still too weak to suck. It was a wonderful tool! Along with a few other clinic & animal-related items, we have added a few breast
pumps to our Amazon Wish List.  

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