The IPA only funds projects with many beneficiaries, but during visits to village schools we encounter individual students with serious medical problems that are affecting the quality of life or the ability to learn in school. These are often disabling or even life- threatening, but they remain untreated because of poverty.
To address this problem, we created a Health Fund where anyone can make donations to pay for students’ care. By American standards, the amounts involved are ridiculously small. $50 to $200 is often enough to completely change a child’s life.
After reading our stories , we hope you will be motivated to contribute to our Health Fund. We gladly accept donations in any amount.
Elmer had just turned 13 when we met him for the first time. He was the top student in his 6th grade class in the village of Brisas del Valle. He and his 11 year-old sister were abandoned by both parents, so they lived alone together. Elmer had a horribly infected foot which had not received any treatment in the two months since it was injured. We took him to a doctor for two surgeries and medications, and he has fully recovered. The doctor said if he had waited another two weeks, he would have lost his foot. The cost of saving it? $45.
Hilda was a 13 year-old girl from the village of El Zapote. She started middle-school in 2016, and is an excellent student. After a visiting Rotarian noticed that she never smiles, her teacher told us she is ashamed of her missing front teeth. After a dental evaluation and specialized X-rays, we found an orthodontist who agreed to tackle Hilda’s extremely complex case over a period of 18 months. Hilda tells us that she feels much happier and has gained several new friends. At $1,550, this was our most expensive case to date.
Lesly was an 8 year-old girl from the village of Nueva Estanzuela. During a school visit, her teacher said she cannot speak because she is tongue-tied (ankyloglossia). She also drools and has difficulty eating enough food. This common defect is usually corrected by a simple procedure after birth, but Lesly was born at home and her parents are poor. We took her to a visiting pediatrician in Copán, and the operation was performed. She is now speaking normally. The cost of changing her life was just $115, including medications, some speech therapy, and a follow-up.
Elvin was a first grade student. Here we have a case of cleft palate that requires surgery.
In this case we partnered with the Rice Foundation a non-profit that undertakes these surgeries for our students at no cost! Once identified and having an initial examination, Elvin was able to enter the Rice surgical program.
We have many cases in the village of La Laguna and elsewhere of students with various skin infections. The cause is most often a lack of essential micronutrients in their diet. We arrange for students to be evaluated by a visiting dermatologist, who gives them medications and vitamin pills for temporary relief. What these kids really need is a better diet, and that is a much bigger problem.