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She Was Hungry and You Fed Her

Field Report by Lauryn Vickers

PERU – Young Soledad was born into a family of strong women. As she grows up on the Uuri Capos Islands of Lake Titicaca, her mother, Irma, is devoted to giving Soledad the best life she can — a life not threatened by a lack of nutrition in Peru. That’s why Irma made the hard decision to leave Soledad in the care of her own mother, Martina, as she set out to find a better job. Leaving the only home she had ever known was risky, but Irma was determined to find opportunities to provide the best upbringing she could for Soledad. 

When Soledad’s grandmother Martina took her in, the matriarch was also caring for four other children in her family. In addition to her daily tasks of fishing and household activities, Martina became the provider for five hungry little mouths. But Martina did not shrink back at the task of caring for Soledad. In fact, to give Soledad the best opportunities for a thriving future, she enrolled her in school. 

Lack of nutrition

Thanks to our generous partners, Soledad attends a local elementary school built in 2018 on the Uuri Capos Islands. Friends like you provided this innovative infrastructure for early education to Peruvian children living on Lake Titicaca. Soledad soon found herself in a classroom with children her age, learning kindergarten basics for the very first time. 

But Soledad often found it difficult to focus. She fought sleepiness and often felt lethargic. “Sometimes she fell asleep in class,” Martina said. “I was worried that she was not learning in school.” 

nutrition programs in peru

Anemia And A Need For Better Nutrition 

Soledad, like many children in her class, was suffering from extreme anemia, a symptom indicating a lack of nutrition, especially iron. This is because her community is positioned more than 12,000 feet above sea level. The high altitude requires Soledad to have more hemoglobin in her blood for her to feel energized.  

But thanks to YOU, Operation Blessing Peru saw an opportunity to provide nutritious meals to these children so they could break free from anemia! Your gift provided regular protein-rich meals and iron supplements. Soledad’s teachers began to see a new energized spirit in Soledad and her classmates.  

soledad free from lack of nutrition

Soledad no longer struggles with sleepiness in class and the nutritious meals keep her going all day. Martina even participated in an Operation Blessing workshop to learn how to prepare these protein-rich foods at home.  

“I am very happy Soledad does not have anemia anymore and my children are eating better!” Martina said. “Thank you, Operation Blessing!” 

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