Humble Hilo works in behalf of the humanitarian organization The Humble Village to provide support by creating job opportunities and giving back portion of all its profits to three programs that will make a sustainable difference in the lives of Guatemalans in great need.
1) Child Nutrition & Clean Water Project
Humble Hilo, in partnership with The Humble Village, collaborates with local organizations and communities to bring nutritional support to infants and children living in extreme poverty. Extreme poverty (living on less than $1 a day), coupled with lack of education and inaccessible healthcare, means that deaths caused by malnutrition are commonplace. Living on a diet of almost exclusively corn tortillas can produce potentially fatal protein malnutrition, blindness, stunting, and a myriad of illnesses. We help to provide result-oriented, nutritional support to children with moderate and severe malnutrition, augmenting their weights to normal levels while providing health education to the family. Nutrient-rich food supplements are provided to severely malnourished children; formula is provided for malnourished infants with cleft pallets, for those whose mothers have died in childbirth, or those whose mothers are too malnourished to produce milk.
Clean Water Project: In conjunction with our Nutrition Project, families on this program are being provided with access to clean water. Many families are limited to unclean water, in which parasites and infections abound in this area. The illnesses that stem from contaminated water compound malnutrition, and many children do not recover from these effects. Parasites and bacteria deprive the body of nutrients, making malnutrition even worse and increases susceptibility to other illnesses. In fact, diarrhea from contaminated water is the second biggest killer of children under five in Guatemala. With YOUR support, we work diligently provide water filters to these vulnerable families that don’t have access to clean water. You help us provide each family with a water filter, train them how to use it, and teach them the importance of using clean water. Filters reduce diarrhea and other intestinal infections by more than 50%, and allow families the ability to save on the firewood that is used in the boiling and sanitizing of water -- meaning less deforestation and fewer hours spent looking for ever-more scarce wood to burn. Water filters provide families with an endless supply of clean drinking water that can be taken from any source. This is one of the most important things that can be done to protect and improve children’s health in the home.
2) Education for Women
Education is one of the most powerful catalysts for lifting someone out of poverty. It empowers individuals, improves quality of life and provides opportunity. Humble Hilo, in partnership with The Humble Village, supports projects that empower women and families through a variety of trainings and educational services. Providing women with knowledge and trainings creates a ripple effect that not only has an influence on their immediate family and community, but has shown to transform impoverished societies on a large scale.
A Health and Education Center has been established as a center to provide a variety of educational resources and trainings for women and families. This Center opened January, 2016 and is the result of endless hours of dreams, work, and effort. The Health and Nutrition Center is not only where food distribution for malnourished children occurs, but it also provides many services to hundreds of families living in extreme poverty from 207 villages in the remote areas of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. The Center is a permanent multi-use center that focuses on creating long-term changes among the people living in these areas. One of the main functions utilized in this Center is it will provide villagers with access to ongoing educational services, literacy trainings, health education (sanitation, food production, breastfeeding techniques, proper nutrition, hygiene, etc), small business seminars, medical and rehabilitation services, and many other resources. Educational classes are also being provided to women in the field for those that are unable to travel to the Center.
3) Small Business Opportunities for Women
Poverty in Guatemala is widespread and deeply rooted, particularly among the poor, rural people who currently account for 71 percent of the country's poverty-stricken population. Of the impoverished population, women are the most vulnerable and less aware of their rights (International Fund for Agriculture 2008). A typical indigenous Mayan woman has to provide for her family on 44 cents per day. On average, she has a family of seven, is rurally based and has only been to school through the first grade. She has never been formally employed and is usually illiterate. This is unacceptable to us. Humble Hilo, in partnership with The Humble Village, helps to provide small business opportunities to women and families in need.
Chicken Coops: One of the small business opportunities that YOU are helping Humble Hilo to establish is providing women the tools and resources needed to start their own chicken coops. We have found this to be extremely successful and effective. For many families in living in Alta Verapaz, the staple daily diet is corn tortillas with chili to stave off hunger, resulting in lack of protein, leading to the most serious and potentially fatal forms of malnutrition. Helping families to raise chickens not only provides them with protein-rich eggs to eat, but it also helps families build a small business where they can sell chickens and eggs in the local markets. This much-needed income is essential for women and families to buy nutritious food and medicines as well as pay for other essential living expenses.
Gardens: Another small business Humble Hilo is helping to establish along with YOUR support are gardens. Helping women produce their own nutritious food improves the immediate health of their family, while also creating a sustainable and long-term solution to malnutrition. Not only does it help reduce malnutrition, but women are also able to sell produce at local markets to generate income for their families. Women receive seeds and tools to start a garden, along with ongoing trainings on how to successfully maintain their garden. Families generally have never had the opportunity to learn about horticulture nor have access to seeds, so this is a highly valued opportunity to improve their nutritional status and to generate a sustainable income.
Humble Hilo, in partnership with The Humble Village, helps to provide small business opportunities to women and families in need. Investing in a woman can make all the difference and is the key not only her future, but the future of her children, extended family, and community as a whole. These small businesses provide opportunity! They offer financial opportunity for women to improve the quality of life for themselves and for their families.