“I had no desire to play, no desire to eat,” 9-year-old Yarisol remembers. “My mind wouldn’t work well at school.”
Children International staff at her community center in Colombia quickly pinpointed the problem. Yarisol’s grandmother, Simona, was stunned to learn that Yarisol was underweight and required immediate intervention.
Simona had reason to be concerned. Seriously malnourished children may never achieve a normal height and weight and their brains may never develop to full cognitive potential, drastically limiting their future opportunities. Early intervention — while a child is only moderately malnourished, like Yarisol — is key to stopping the cycle.