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Food for Life

Pulling Village Children out of Hunger
By Analiz González Schremmer

(OAXACA, Mexico) — Some children are too hungry to go to school.

[caption id="attachment_937" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Women living in La Cumbre wash dishes after feeding the children in the community."][/caption]

In La Cumbre, a Zapoteco village in Oaxaca, 37 percent of the children drop out of school because of malnutrition and 41 percent of the people can’t read. Buckner hopes to see those numbers change.

In March, Buckner opened a feeding ministry to serve the village children.

“The program will use money from the Buckner humanitarian aid budget to get the population to work together in feeding 64 children,” said Juan Millan, Mexico country director for Buckner. “This program will help us bring in different ways of thinking, acting and living. Through Christ we will be able to impact their health, their education and their family lives.”

[caption id="attachment_938" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Thirty-seven percent of the children in La Cumbre, a Zapoteco village in Oaxaca, drop out of school due to malnutrition. Buckner started a feeding ministry to change that."][/caption]

The Zapotecos are one of many indigenous groups in the state of Oaxaca. And those living in La Cumbre come home to smoke-filled aluminum huts that they use for cooking, living and everything. They die at an early age and their children often don’t live to age 2 because of poor living conditions.

“Through the development of new values and new lives in Jesus, we hope to develop a number of self-sustaining projects that would involve training the people how to raise animals and cultivate crops,” Millan said.

He added that malnutrition brings a series of consequences: sickness, dropping out of school, social vulnerability, less energy for activities and learning as well as developmental issues.

Dexton Shores, director of Buckner ministry development in Mexico and the border, said that the Zapotecos will be assuming responsibility for the ministry from the beginning.

[caption id="attachment_939" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Sixty-four children participate in the new Buckner-sponsored community feeding program."][/caption]

“God has really blessed us with some committed leaders that are dedicating their lives to make life better to provide better nutrition for all of these children,” Shores said. “We can’t wait to see how these lives are going to change.”

“The ministry is very indigenous,” Shores said. “The women prepare the meals over a wood fire, washing the dishes outside, and the children eat on homemade tables of one single board and some eating on cardboard boxes. When we got these pictures, Juan Carlos and I were so filled with emotion, we had to grab a tissue!”

To learn more about hte feeding ministry for the Zapoteco people, contact Dexton Shores at dshores@buckner.org or call 214-758-8050 to make a donation.

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