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The Best Way To Measure Success

In our latest update from Dr. Beyda, he tells us the story of a child he met and why numbers aren't the only way they measure success.

So let's see. Over 1100 children seen in 4 days, one more day to go. I wonder what impact we'll have. It's not about the numbers – although we all are intrigued by the number, me included. It gives us a sense of accomplishment, a sense of completion.

Really? Not so fast. It's really about the reason why and the way we do what we do, and what the children receive. I'll let you decide what all those things are at least from the stories you read here. For me, it is simple. We have a reason why: to serve; and the way is to give of ourselves and do our best to ensure the health of the children. Today is an example.

We are still in a remote area of India, isolated and far from a big city. We saw about 320 children today, many still presenting with stunting, the product of severe malnutrition before the age of 5 years. One child in particular, the child you see above, is one of those. She is 8 years old and is the size of a 5 year old. She is chronically ill, has a persistent cough, pneumonia, may have TB, no appetite. A lack for life. She had no breakfast this morning. There was no food in the house. The parents have been "quarreling" according to the child, the mother is sick, and the father is rarely home.

She is a sponsored child, and because of that she is one of the lucky ones. She gets a noon-time meal Monday through Friday because of the partnership One Child Matters has with a school that she attends, and she is cared for by OCM staff. Medical Mercy now gives her a chance for health. I gave her medications, put her in our follow-up system, and the local OCM staff will follow closely and send me a report in 2 weeks as to how she is doing. We did a full nutritional assessment on her, and she'll be assessed every 6 months so I can see how she is doing. Without the medications, the follow up, the care and the intentional effort to get her better, she would pass away slowly and alone. There in lies the why and the way. She will do well, she will survive, she will grow and she will be able to live her life to her potential. 

We have one more clinic tomorrow. We'll see a couple of hundred children and finish out the week with a "total number." But more importantly, we will finish out the week having served and leaving behind a chance for the children to see a lifetime of love.

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