GlobeMed at PSU partners with ACUDESBAL of Bajo Lempa, El Salvador to improve food security, sanitation, and education for children.
Who We Are// GlobeMed at Penn State
Founded in 2005, GlobeMed at Penn State University works with ACUDESBAL in El Salvador. Together, we work to improve the health of three communities in the Bajo Lempa area with a focus on self-sustaining agriculture and child development through improved nutrition.
Our Partner// ACUDESBAL in Bajo Lempa, El Salvador
GlobeMed at Penn State is partnered with ACUDESBAL, a grassroots organization working with 29 communities in Bajo Lempa, El Salvador. ACUDESBAL was formed in 1998 on the idea that the strength of a community working together is the way to achieve social, economic, political, and environmental justice; all of which are an important part of Bajo Lempa’s history of civil war and devastating natural disasters.
ACUDESBAL focuses on five strategic areas: institutional strengthening, food sovereignty, infrastructure and legalization of land, health and environment, recreation and sports culture. They work with communities to help plan and implement realistic and sustainable solutions. With the majority of the nearly 9,000 people in Bajo Lempa living in poverty, ACUDESBAL plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of the Bajo Lempa population.
Our Project // $10,000 to Improve Food Security and Health Education for Children
The Daycare Centers Garden Project and Healthy Environment Initiative focuses on food security, nutrition education, sanitation and safety, and oral health for students at three daycare centers in the rural region of Bajo Lempa, El Salvador. This project impacts the health of 160 young children by improving access to healthy foods and empowering them to take charge of their health decisions at a critical developmental age.
i. Food security is provided through sustainable gardens and tilapia fishers at each daycare center. The daycares are underfunded and often are unable to provide highly nutritious meals to the children. This component of the project allows the daycares to be self-sustaining and ensures access to healthy food.
ii. Nutrition education is provided with three yearly visits from an El Salvadorian nutritionist, to each daycare for a total of nine visits. The nutritionist meets with children, daycare center teachers and kitchen staff, and guardians to educate them about healthy decisions and food preparation. Education empowers individuals to take charge of their health and instills the importance of healthy nutrition in the children.
iii. Sanitation is a critical component of food safety and is promoted by funding the construction of new latrines, the construction of fencing to protect the gardens and fisheries from animal infestation, and the sanitation and safety improvements for kitchens at each daycare center.
iv. Oral health is promoted by the provision of toothpaste and toothbrushes for students, as well as the funding of three visits from an El Salvadorian dentists yearly to each center. Students gain access to the tools and knowledge they need to protect oral health.
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