Mothers becoming Moms: Child Survival Program In Action
As you know, I’ve been really excited about witnessing the Child Survival Program here in El Salvador. It’s a very new program, but is already having fantastic effects for the ones involved.
The project we visited today is one of five that are currently operating in this country.
I witnessed about 15 mothers caring for their babies. The women ranged in age from 15-35 years old. Most were first-time mothers, a couple were mothers multiple times over. But the need was the same for all of them: they needed education. They needed to be equipped with skills. They needed to learn how and why to embrace these children.
The women are broken up into groups by the age of their children. We witnessed them being given instruction in infant massage and stimulation. We witnessed them being encouraged to play with their children.
They also spend time in direct instruction with a CSP “Implementer” or “Survival Specialist” who instructs them Biblically about God’s view of children. We heard them learning truths that are kind of old-hat for most of us: children are a heritage from the Lord; your children are gifts from Him…. Things that may tend to seem tired and trite if you’ve heard them too many times.
Imagine hearing it and embracing it for the first time. Imagine hearing it and embracing it, even if you had next to nothing, materially, to give this child.
We heard them learning basics of mothering, such as: if your baby is crying, do you punish him or pick him up?
And while they were having some sit-down time apart from their babies, they twisted our arms to hold the babies.
Many of them shared that they feel extremely thankful to be a part of this ministry. They testified to the effects they see in their children, as compared to other children not in the program.
One woman told me, when talking about her 15-month-old, “He didn’t used to play. Now… he plays!”
The women are learning to take joy in their children. And that, to me, is what turns any old mother into a mama.
You can support Compassion’s Child Survival Program for $20/month, or make a one-time gift. Or just visit the site and poke around. I pray that you’re as blessed by their vision as I am.
Entry filed under: Compassion.