Dressed in graduation togas, these little graduates were part of the group of 43 who are healthy and ready to take their next step in a healthy life as they finish the ASELSI milk program.

Since that first mommy who brought her starving child to Sharon Harvey’s door about sixteen years ago, ASELSI has been helping provide milk, formula, food, vitamins and medical care to the babies and small children in and around Chichicastenango, Guatemala.

Recently 43 of those children graduated from the ASELSI Milk Program. Complete with togas and hats, these little ones looked quite different from the day they were first carried into the ASELSI clinic a year or more ago.

Normally, an undernourished child will spend at least a year in the milk program to gain the weight and strength they need to be able to get a good start on life.

Currently ASELSI has 98 children in the milk program. This program is one of the more expensive programs at the ASELSI Clinic because of the cost of formula and food that each child receives for free.

Annually we have about 150 children in the program.These babies and small children were referred to the milk program through the ASELSI clinic because they were extremely underweight (like this baby), their mother died, or they are twins and the mother doesn’t have sufficient milk to care for them.

Whatever the reason, these babies often enter the program thin and frail carried on the backs of moms, dads, aunts, sisters or a caring neighbor. When they graduate from the program, these little ones are healthy, growing, and have a very good chance to thrive because of the nutrition they received.

In Guatemala where 13%1 of children are considered malnourished and 48%2 of children under the age of five show stunting in their growth development this program is helping make a difference in many lives. Estimates show that around 2,000 children have received milk and food through this program over the years

The cost for one baby to be in the Milk Program is about $30 per month. If you would like to help ASELSI continue this and other programs that are transforming lives, please consider a monthly donation.


1USAID Summary https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/global-health/nutrition/countries/guatemala-nutrition-profile

2 UNICEF Report Page 120: https://data.unicef.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/130565-1.pdf

Milk Program organizer, Cesi, (right) congratulates Tomas, one of the little graduates who she has been caring for over the last year or more.
Clutching his Milk Program graduation gift, one of the healthy kids who spent time in the Milk Program graduated recently.