Ways to Help our Families
Ways to help our families:
Food remains the most critical need for the families in the Lake Atitlan area. Tourism was the major employer here either directly or indirectly. With the lockdown, there are no opportunities for the majority to find any work. They have no resources to fall back on. Prior to COVID-19, families struggled to put food on the table. They are used to having little; but now having nothing they fear for their children, their elderly, and themselves.
The donations to the Emergency Food Fund have enabled FundaMaya to deliver basic staples of corn, beans, rice, and sometimes Incaparina (a high-protein food supplement). However, the need remains ongoing as it will be a long time before tourism opens up never mind gets back to normal, or a new normal.
To provide food for one month:
$128 Canadian for a family of four
$201 Canadian for a family of six
Very few families have access to clean water. As a result, there is a high rate of diarrheal illnesses due to water contaminated with bacteria and parasites. Chronic malnutrition is further affected by these illnesses which prevent the absorption of nutrients. Many families boil water; however, studies have proven this is not as effective in reducing contaminants as a good water filter.
Using an ECO Filter effectively reduces the incidences of water-borne diseases. The filter costs $101 Canadian. It is economical, ecological and lasts two years. It provides life-saving humanitarian care in supporting fragile health systems and vulnerable communities through access to clean water.
Washing hands frequently is a principal guideline in protection against COVID-19. This is difficult to do when you can’t afford to buy food, never mind soap. A Hygiene pack costs $60 Canadian and provides hand, laundry, and cleaning soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste, toilet paper, and other cleaning supplies.
Respiratory along with diarrheal illnesses are the leading causes of death for children under the age 5 in this area. Families often cook over open fires resulting in childhood pneumonia due to biomass smoke exposure in poorly ventilated rooms. Women cooking over open fires have exposure to pollutants equivalent to two packs of unfiltered cigarettes per day. The exposure to smoke and creosote deposits lead to life-long medical conditions for all who are exposed.
In addition to the negative health impact, family members may spend an inordinate amount of time foraging for daily firewood which is more difficult now as more families are forced to comb the countryside. Without work, purchasing firewood is not an option.
An Onil stove which costs $255 Canadian is efficient and economical. It uses much less firewood, freeing up time and financial resources. It has a pipe that directs smoke out of the living area and caging around it to protect little fingers.
We know there are global struggles that impact the home front as well. We appreciate your caring and assistance in supporting our families through this pandemic and after.
To donate: www.fundamayacanada.ca/donate.
In the message box, detail the recipient or note as general donation, and what the donation covers:
- Emergency Food Fund, $128 for family of four; $201 for a family of six
- Water Filter, $101
- Onil Stove, $255
- Hygiene Pack, $60
Thank you so much!