UNICEF's Next Generation goes to Guatemala

February 11, 2010

By

crotter@unicefusa.org

Casey Rotter is a development officer at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. On Saturday, February 13, she leaves for a week-long field trip to Guatemala with members of UNICEF's Next Generation.

Casey Rotter is a development officer at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. On Saturday, February 13, she leaves for a week-long field trip to Guatemala with members of UNICEF's Next Generation.

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Casey Rotter is a development officer at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. On Saturday, February 13, she leaves for a week-long field trip to Guatemala with members of UNICEF's Next Generation.

 

Casey Rotter visiting UNICEF programs in Guatemala last year.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF/2009
Casey Rotter visiting UNICEF programs in Guatemala.

 

Next week we will be visiting Guatemala City, Quetzaltenango, San Cristobal, and Totonicapánget to see the programs that will actually be funded by Next Generation's Project Sprinkles (for those of you who contributed to our project and helped us reach our goal to raise $175,000 to help 35,000 children in Guatemala - thank you!). We look forward to meeting the families and children who have been able to get the proper nutrients they need to survive, thanks to UNICEF. We cannot wait to ask how Sprinkles and UNICEF have made a difference in their lives!

Why should we shine the light on malnutrition? Because malnutrition is the underlying cause of nearly half of all child deaths and this is unacceptable! I have found it so hard to believe that in Guatemala half of all children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition-the highest percentage of chronically malnourished children under five in all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Among indigenous children (who represent more than 40 percent of the population and most of the areas we will be visiting) chronic malnutrition reaches a whopping 70 percent. This means that seven out of ten indigenous children lose their potential for physical and intellectual development for completely preventable reasons - the lack of adequate nutrition and care. This is intolerable. That is why I am looking forward to visiting programs wherein UNICEF is addressing this very issue. Can't wait to report back!

I will also be visiting UNICEF programs in the areas of child protection, education and HIV/AIDS. And I will definitely try to write daily about our visits and answer any questions that are posted (so long as technology allows in the "land of the trees"). So please visit the FieldNotes blog each day and send me your questions/comments!

Also, for more frequent updates, you can follow me and my collegue Leslie Goldman on twitter while we're in Guatemala: @casey_unicefusa and @LeslieUNICEFUSA.