Kerlin’s Story

A Little Boy’s Dramatic Transformation

“The program is good for Kerlin and it’s good for me.
He likes to make me laugh. When he comes home, he hugs me, kisses me and tickles me.”

When MH4H staff first met Kerlin, he was only 34.5” tall and 29 pounds. Based on his size, they estimated he was only three years old. He was, in fact, five. They immediately enrolled him in the early childhood development program and secured a sponsor to pay for his food, medical care and education.

First Thousand Days was created by MH4H to combat the chronic malnutrition that affects 24 percent of children under five years old in Haiti. Malnutrition leads to stunted growth, physical and mental anguish, and in some cases — death. Children in the program and their caregivers receive five meals a week, immunizations and health check-ups, basic health education, ample clean water and community time with Bible stories and songs

Within two years in the program, Kerlin gained 17 pounds and grew a full foot, dramatically increasing his overall health and happiness. “The program is good for Kerlin and it’s good for me,” said Janita. “He likes to make me laugh. When he comes home, he hugs me and kisses me and tickles me.”

Kerlin now attends school in Savanette, where he’s learning math and the Bible and his favorite subject — writing. “My best friends at school are Milo and Kalout,” said Kerlin. “My friends like to write and play, too!”

Kerlin’s grandmother, Janita, was doing everything she could to provide for her young grandson, from tending garden to making charcoal to selling oranges at the market in Haiti. She brought him with her everywhere she went and made sure he had at least something to eat every day. But it wasn’t enough. Severely malnourished, Kerlin was dangerously undersized and suffering from fevers and bloody stools.

Janita heard about the Many Hands for Haiti (MH4H) First Thousand Days program (Previously known as the Thrive for 5 program) from a friend. “My friend said I had bring Kerlin over there,” she said. “I couldn’t do much for him, so I was looking for help. I didn’t know the program was close by.”

When MH4H staff first met Kerlin, he was only 34.5” tall and 29 pounds. Based on his size, they estimated he was only three years old. He was, in fact, five. They immediately enrolled him in the early childhood development program and secured a sponsor to pay for his food, medical care and education.

First Thousand Days was created by MH4H to combat the chronic malnutrition that affects 24 percent of children under five years old in Haiti. Malnutrition leads to stunted growth, physical and mental anguish, and in some cases — death. Children in the program and their caregivers receive five meals a week, immunizations and health check-ups, basic health education, ample clean water and community time with Bible stories and songs

Within two years in the program, Kerlin gained 17 pounds and grew a full foot, dramatically increasing his overall health and happiness. “The program is good for Kerlin and it’s good for me,” said Janita. “He likes to make me laugh. When he comes home, he hugs me and kisses me and tickles me.”

Kerlin now attends school in Savanette, where he’s learning math and the Bible and his favorite subject — writing. “My best friends at school are Milo and Kalout,” said Kerlin. “My friends like to write and play, too!”

Kerlin’s grandmother, Janita, was doing everything she could to provide for her young grandson, from tending garden to making charcoal to selling oranges at the market in Haiti. She brought him with her everywhere she went and made sure he had at least something to eat every day. But it wasn’t enough. Severely malnourished, Kerlin was dangerously undersized and suffering from fevers and bloody stools.

Janita heard about the Many Hands for Haiti (MH4H) First Thousand Days program (Previously known as the Thrive for 5 program) from a friend. “My friend said I had bring Kerlin over there,” she said. “I couldn’t do much for him, so I was looking for help. I didn’t know the program was close by.”

“I could not help him to go to school,” said Janita, “but because of the program now he can. When Kerlin gets home from school he tells me, ‘Grandma, this is what I’ve learnt in school today. I like it!’”

Kerlin hopes one day to become a pharmacist so he can help others — and thanks to Thrive for 5, and his loving grandmother’s initiative, he’s closer than ever to reaching that goal.

“I could not help him to go to school,” said Janita, “but because of the program now he can. When Kerlin gets home from school he tells me, ‘Grandma, this is what I’ve learnt in school today. I like it!’”

Kerlin hopes one day to become a pharmacist so he can help others — and thanks to Thrive for 5, and his loving grandmother’s initiative, he’s closer than ever to reaching that goal.

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