Belal, 2, is alive today because of your generosity

Mar 17, 2016
10-Minute Read
Rahima was married at 14. Her husband wanted sons, but life became difficult as child after child passed away.
In time she became mom to five children. Her husband died and she took whatever work she could find to provide for them, but the stress took its toll. Rahima’s milk dried up early and her infant son Belal became sick. She thought she was going to lose yet another child before the age of one.
“I was so tired from work,” Rahima, 35, recalls. “On the one hand, I didn’t eat well enough to produce milk. And on the other hand, I wasn’t at home during the day to take care of Belal.”

Out of desperation, Rahima took Belal to a growth monitoring session run by World Vision. He was seven months old and close to death, weighing just 4.2 kg—half the weight of a healthy child. Belal was diagnosed with severe malnutrition, and Rahima enrolled in a nutrition course along with some other local moms.

During 12 days of classes, they learned to cook wholesome meals using local ingredients. They learned essential habits like proper hygiene and the importance of breastfeeding. Because Belal was so malnourished, he was admitted to a clinic where he received nutrition supplements, too.
On the last day of the course, Rahima was shocked to see Belal had already gained weight. Her efforts were paying off.
“Before, I didn’t feed Belal with beans, egg and cucumber,” she says. “Now I know that children should be fed vegetables and fruits, [as well as] carbohydrates such as bread, macaroni and potatoes as well as proteins.”
Now 23 months old, Belal has caught up on his growth, weighing 22 pounds. He’s a healthy little boy, and Rahima is grateful.​​
“You opened our eyes,” she says, her voice shaking with emotion. “You helped my kid become healthy, and made me and other mothers like me happy.”