A Second Chance

14 month-old Fatchima, after arriving with her mother Maria, in critical condition. Photo by Talitha Brauer.

In rural Niger, poverty is rife and food prices are high despite low family incomes. During the lean season before the harvest, when families’ food reserves from the previous year are almost depleted, many parents do not have enough food to feed their hungry children. As a result, children are sick and death rates are high.

One look at 14-month-old Fatchima’s brittle hair, and the reddish blonde halo it creates against her soft skin, made her chronic malnutrition obvious. Low iron levels caused her hair color to fade from a healthy dark black to its rusty hue. Without nutritious, fortifying food and the proper vitamins and minerals growing children need, her survival was in jeopardy.

Thankfully, Fatchima was referred to a Save the Children-supported hospital where partners like you made it possible for her to receive a full course of antibiotics to treat her malnutrition, infections and diarrhea. Another way you fight malnutrition here and around the world is by helping weak, undernourished moms build up their strength so they can nurse their babies. While children like Fatchima get the care they need, Save the Children-supported meal programs feed moms like Maria healthy meals like rice, black-eyed peas and local vegetables.

As Fatchima was treated, her mother Maria smiled wide as she also received a home kit with a bowl, plate, cup, two spoons, two blankets and a mosquito net to protect them from malaria — a constant and deadly threat in Africa’s Sahel region. Every day, you help restore the health and well-being of children so they have the chance to grow up strong and healthy.

Fatchima's condition, after 2 days of treatment in the Save the Children-supported hospital, improved greatly. Photo by Talitha Brauer.

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