Asodisa's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 2016

The Asodisa community is located in the Chimaltenango area of Guatemala. The region is home to many small, rural highland settlements. The landscape is natural and wild, with hills, plateaus, and gorges. Forests cover 80% of the land. At lower elevations, the climate is semi tropical, and families experience tropical storms and hurricanes. At the higher elevations, the climate is cold and prone to frosts in the winter months. Families here are mostly subsistence farmers, growing corn, black beans, and vegetables.

Almost everyone here is of native Maya-Kaqchikel descent, and 90% of the population still speaks Kaqchikel. About half of this number speak Spanish as well. The residents are known for their earthenware pots and tortilla pans, which are sold all over Guatemala. Women here weave beautiful textiles on looms. Their products are usually sold cheaply to middlemen, although their work is made into elaborate clothing that is sold the world over. Despite the talents of families here, the area is considered the poorest in Chimaltenango. 77% of families are considered poor, and 20% are extremely poor. Children continue to suffer as parents, mostly fathers, have to migrate in search of work.
  • 1,031 people learned about child rights and protection issues, helping ensure children's safety and participation.
  • 900 children and youth learned about their rights, how to voice their opinions, and ways to protect themselves from harm.
  • 17 child and adult victims of abuse or exploitation received counselling and resources to help them recover.
  • 101 young people are leading or attending child parliaments to advocate for their rights and influence local decisions.
  • 276 people learned how to work with local authorities and influence decisions to improve services and child well-being.
  • 17 community groups are engaging with local authorities to advance their rights and create positive changes for children.
  • 3 spiritual leaders partnered with World Vision Canada to bring positive changes in the lives of children and families.
  • 189 preschool children are developing vital language and motor skills, setting a solid foundation for their education.
  • 43 parents and caregivers learned about proper feeding practices and how to keep their children well nourished.
  • 101 malnourished children were enrolled in nutritional programs and monitored to ensure they are growing healthy.
  • 1,146 children and women were vaccinated to protect them against preventable diseases. 3 savings groups are helping children and adults save money and access loans to grow businesses or cover basic expenses.
  • 37 children and adults are members of savings groups, helping families meet their financial needs and access small loans.
  • 215 children and adults received nutritious fruits and vegetables grown in community, school or family gardens.
  • 43 gardens are in place to help families, community groups or schools provide nutritious food for children.
  • 244 individuals including children are better equipped to protect themselves from disasters and respond to emergencies.
  • 3 community groups are teaching children and families to prevent disasters and protect themselves in times of crisis.
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Train the community to value education for children, teens, and adults.
  • Raise community awareness to help reduce child labour.
  • Work with schools to promote leadership in children.
  • Provide training opportunities so children can learn their own value, and discover their artistic, social, and cultural skills; activities that will motivate them and reduce their susceptibility to gangs.
  • Work with parents to ensure that more children stay in school.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to: Improve houses, in partnership with families.
  • Train parents, especially mothers, in nutrition.
  • Equip guide mothers to use local foods to provide a healthy diet, and to demonstrate this knowledge to others in the community.
  • Train parents, especially mothers, in preventive healthcare, and the handling of common gastro-intestinal illnesses.
  • Train families and help them establish home gardens to grow fruit and vegetables.
  • Partner with families to build latrines to improve sanitation, and install new stoves that will reduce smoke inhalation.

Economic Development
To ensure parents in Asodisa can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Provide training and support to farmers to increase agricultural production.
  • Diversify crops.
  • Help families understand economic development, and establish sustainable production units.
  • Provide technical and vocational skills, with a special focus on teens and women.
  • Train and support local organizations and leadership to identify problems and pursue solutions.

Explore Asodisa

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Asodisa

Illiteracy in the community is around 36%, and this percentage is considerably higher among women. It's often difficult for parents to see the value of education. Furthermore, there is only one school for early childhood education, so children are not prepared to enter primary school. In fact, 77% of children show significant mental developmental delays. As a result, 43% of children repeat grades. What's more, education doesn't engage children and there aren't enough teachers. Children and parents lose interest in education, and children begin to work from early ages to help their family survive.

Adults in the community often do not engage with children, and it's difficult for a child to think independently and critically, voice their opinion, or disagree. Punishment is harsh and often degrading. More recently, the area has seen the rise of maras, or gangs, which pose further threats to children. Maras are known to recruit children, so many parents prefer keep their children at home and away from school to protect them.

Health Care
Families do not produce or earn enough money to buy adequate food. Plots are small, farming methods are traditional, and crops are very limited. As a result, children are not getting sufficient nutritious food. They eat mostly carbohydrates and lack essential nutrients from fruits, vegetables and protein sources. Malnutrition is chronic, growth delay is common and many children are anemic.

Houses are crowded and in poor condition and do not protect children from the elements. Many still lack sanitation facilities. As a result, children regularly suffer from diarrheal diseases and acute respiratory illnesses. Families do not know good hygiene practices, or the steps that can be taken to prevent and treat common illnesses. These illnesses, combined with poor nutrition and a lack of access to medical assistance, mean that children cannot thrive.

Economic Development
Despite their well-known pottery and embroidery, most families in the community still earn their living by subsistence agriculture, such as growing corn and beans for their own family. However, much of the land is suited to growing trees, not crops. Plots are small and not all families own land. Those that produce pottery and handicrafts are not organized, and often sell their products cheaply to middlemen.

Life is hard, traditional, and paternalistic here. There are few opportunities for women in the community to take on productive roles, and even fewer for youth. The general level of education achieved is also low. This means there is little to bring families together to organize and manage their own economic development.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Asodisa,  is in Phase 3

PHASE 3: Enhance sustainability

Children and families enjoy improved living conditions. They're ready to become independent and continue the work you helped start. We invite you to help another child and community!