UNICEF…..Undeniable Facts on Undernutrition

Here are just some profound FACTS by Unicef about the correlation of malnutrition in the womb with infant and child health, mortality and intelligence…….and 90% of these instances occur in Africa or Asia.

Note…..The baby pictured below Chris and I “discovered” on my recent trip to Baseco…..just when we thought it had improved we are confronted again and again but babes like this, these following UNICEF facts just consolidate and confirm our zeal to change these wee ones start in life and hopefully their destiny, one life at a time!

Maternal undernutrition affects a woman’s chances of
surviving pregnancy as well as her child’s health. Women
who were stunted as girls, whose nutritional status was
poor when they conceived or who didn’t gain enough
weight during pregnancy may deliver babies with low
birthweight. These infants in turn may never recoup from
their early disadvantage. Like other undernourished
children, they may be susceptible to infectious disease and
death, and as adults they may face a higher risk of chronic
illness such as heart disease and diabetes. Thus the health
of the child is inextricably linked to the health of the mother.

Undernutrition in children under age 2 diminishes the
ability of children to learn and earn throughout their lives.
Nutritional deprivation leaves children tired and weak, and
lowers their IQs, so they perform poorly in school. As adults
they are less productive and earn less than their healthy
peers. The cycle of undernutrition and poverty thereby
repeats itself, generation after generation.

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and
continued breastfeeding together with appropriate foods
can have a major impact on children’s survival, growth
and development. Adding vitamin A to the diet, to boost
resistance to disease, and zinc, to treat diarrhoea, can
further reduce child mortality.

Ensuring against iodine
and iron deficiencies improves lives and cognitive development.
Studies show iodine deficiency lowers IQ 13.5 points
on average.

Lack of attention to child and maternal nutrition today
will result in considerably higher costs tomorrow. With
more than 1 billion people suffering from malnutrition and
hunger, international leadership and urgent action are



Acts of Kindness Can Change Lives…..

When I first lived in Baseco in 2009 I met a lady called Lisa, she actually lived across from Praise House in the slum.

She was heavily pregnant, she was never a regular in church and floated around the edges of the Christians…..but I suppose because she lived so close to the hub of Jn14:12 she was known.


There were some things that we suspect Lisa was involved in which bordered on backyard abortion practices…..however…..

She attended faithfully all of my Birthing classes, which touched on life and the miracle of birth and the precious babies we are responsible for.

Before I left I felt to support her with some money to go towards her hospital birth (this was pre-BBB days) and a ligation, this baby was her 4th.

She had her baby MJ (he is now over 2 years old) at Fabella and had a ligation.

I have seen her every visit back to Baseco, she was always thrilled to see us and showed off MJ proudly with tears in her eyes…..

This visit I noticed another change……

She (along with many other families) lost her house in the Baseco Fire  (you can read about the fire here)

The Relief from Australia rebuilt this whole area…..

She has a new house,

BUT what is significant is that she has an active Bible Study in her house

Whilst I was there she attended every church service.

That was a change!

Acts of Kindness work……….

The Bible says more specifically

Ephesians 2:10

New King James Version (NKJV)

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Never tire of doing good,

Yes in these countries,

But do not forget where we are

It works in Australia too

More on Acts of Kindness here

Blessings Cathy

Marilyn’s Story…..she has 9 children……………


She is in her forties

This is her story…………..as I recorded in her interview when i visited Baseco a month ago



Baby Boy – Mark Christian 5months old in photo (Born Nov 2011)


This is Marilyn’s 9th child!

Her husband is a pedicab driver who earns only a couple of  Australian dollars daily.

She was anxious to stop having any more children


In order to have a tubal ligation she needed to go to Fabella Hospital

She attended all checkups there

She had all tests and scans there

It was a good pregnancy

She did attend Fabella for her birth and it was a successful birth with no problems.

She did have a ligation before she left Fabella


Marilyn was one of the few mothers who did not breastfeed

Not for a personal reason but purely medical

She had inverted nipples

She showed me and they were seriously inverted


Marilyn was a grateful recipient of a tubal ligation

Her baby days are over

The baby is completely immunised


Marilyn was particularly grateful for BBB

She tearfully thanked me for the sponsorship and her subsequent ligation

To her it represented the end of a long baby bearing era

The extreme financial hardship that she faced each time a baby was born was at an end.

She was one of the few that thanked me and her sponsors Australian Christian Churches

It was special.

Mother and baby are very happy and healthy

Read about the battle that the poor women like Marilyn face daily in Manila


This is the kind of story we love

Lives changed, baby and mother happy

One life at a time…………

Prevention is Better……….

The women in this video are very similar to those  in Baseco even now!

This scenario would not happen if women just like this had access to contraceptives

I do not advocate abortion….. but I have great compassion and empathy with women who feel so so desperate and have been disempowered to such a state of desperation

Be sure folks our money is going to change the destiny of women and unborn children in Baseco

BBB is making a difference


Blessings Cathy

Truth and Reality

Statistics do not lie.

This is the reality our BBB sisters face everyday

Source: World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank,
“Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2008”, Annex 1 & Appendix 14, 2010.

These are just some of the reasons we do what we do!

Every day, 10 women in the Philippines die while giving birth, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Nearly half of the pregnancies are unintended and many of the deaths could be prevented by providing access to reproductive healthcare, skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric services. The Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit organisation which aims to promote sexual health, estimates that the provision of modern contraceptives alone would avert 2,100 maternal deaths each year.

Manini Sheker

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 23 November 2011 01.00 GMT

Every woman needs to be attended in birth by Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA) whether they are poor or rich.

Source: Macro International Inc, 2011. MEASURE DHS STATcompiler.
http://www.measuredhs.com, June 14 2011.

 Each day in Baseco woman die for the lack of SBA’s!

Each sponsorship has an impact, each sponsorship gives a mother and child a better chance at life and a better future with organised Family Planning.

No wonder our kids are smiling!

We are making a difference in one of the poorest areas Baseco!

One baby at a time!

Mentoring and Mothering

Anything alive will grow, it will be adjusted and tweaked

Birthing Better Babies is no different

In Baseco there are many needs that yell for attention especially with the woman, who are primarily the caregivers of the children.

Now we have started the journey with these women we are realising that there are sub groups that require particular attention

There is a large amount  of teen pregnancies in Baseco

There is no sex education, and girls find their first sex education lesson is sometimes their first pregnancy, with a person they do not know or who do not care a rip about them.

Many girls have had no parents/mothering or very deficient role models in each!

Sex education is non existent either from parents or at school, often stories from peers are woven with old wives tales and fallacies which colour a wrong way of thinking.

There is a desperate desperate need for mentoring and mothering with our teen and mothers

So we have begun the journey!

Len Len is our first teen in our mentoring program.

She is 17 years old, she lives with her alcoholic father. She has no mother.

Last year she was very involved with the Jn14;12 youth however she had some edgy friends who were not friends at all!

She ended up pregnant, the father has disappeared and was probably only a lad as well!

Len Len’s future is very unsure, she is already facing a financial burden (although BBB will sponsor her pregnancy)

She will definately be a burden on her father, so she probably will have to work, but what will happen to the baby?

Alone and pregnant in Baseco is a different matter though





There are hundreds like her!

But we care.

She may be a drop in the ocean, but we can make a difference one teen and one baby at a time!

So we need to mentor these teens

Len Len  will be mentored by one of our leaders Belinda Castro.

Already Len Len loves and adores Belinda, she calls her Mum.

Len Len watches Belinda with her newborn Prince with avid eyes, she watches how Belinda cares for and nurtures her baby and thankfully Len Len will use her as a Role Model.

How exciting!

Belinda is a good mother, she adores her kids and  is a committed Christian, she is a Leader in Jn14:12

Already Len Len hangs around Belinda’s  home and cares for Prince with her, this is tremendous practice for Len Len who has no mother or sisters.

Belinda makes sure Len Len takes her vitamins and goes with her to the Hospital for check ups.

Len Len will be closely mentored and cared for after the baby is born and the girls will ensure she is breastfeeding and the baby is being cared for properly.

We will, if need be, place her on contraception, unless she shows real signs of commitment to God and moral purity.  BUT until then we can protect her and her new babe from further poverty, if we must we will guard her against herself until she meets someone who will marry and commit to her.

This is a great great thing for Len Len, when the baby is born she will have strong women of faith as her mothers, NOT teens her own age who have NO idea.

She probably does not realise how significant this will be for her and her unborn baby, but that does not matter, in the long run we help a life……in this case 2 lives!

I would say Len Len’s life has been touched  and changed because of the women at Jn 14:12……like Belinda who actually do care for her!

What a good change, an exciting development

To give life, health and education to these girls is a wonderful thing!

Thank you Jesus!