At AID FOR AIDS, our efforts to prevent infant malnutrition in Venezuela have led us to open a sister organization, AID FOR LIFE International, born with the purpose of expanding our support for vulnerable populations to include malnourished babies and individuals with other chronic illnesses besides HIV.
In 2018, while distributing HIV medication to Venezuela, we became aware of thousands of new mothers with untreated HIV who could not safely breastfeed without passing the virus to their infants. We began procuring baby formula to feed them.
Knowing that malnutrition during the first year of life can lead to brain damage and death, thus preventing an entire generation from reaching its maximum potential, and recognizing the crisis as a flagrant violation of the fundamental human right to life, we launched the “Healing Venezuela” program, expanding our commitment to “saving lives, one by one.”
Through this program, in partnership with pediatric doctors from 11 health centers in eight cities of Venezuela, we have consistently provided infant formula to 400 babies in 2018. These babies cannot be breastfed because of the health conditions of their mothers, or because they’ve been orphaned or abandoned. The infants AID FOR AIDS is helping have achieved an average weight increase of between 2.2lbs and 3.3lbs per month since Healing Venezuela began.
Given these initial successes, AID FOR AIDS set the goal of feeding 3,000 malnourished babies in Venezuela in 2019. In May 2019, we were thrilled to receive a $260,000 donation from Globant employees and clients in support of our work to end infant malnutrition and infant mortality in Venezuela.
Globant, an IT and Software Development company, organized a campaign from March 23rd through March 30th, 2019, through which clients and “Globers” were invited to join together to help respond to the crisis and through which Globant agreed to match all funds raised with an equivalent corporate donation. As a result of the campaign, Globant has raised net proceeds equal to $260,000 to fight infant malnutrition and infant mortality in Venezuela.
With this funding, AID FOR AIDS can expand its Healing Venezuela program to reach 700 babies through an additional 9 health institutions (for a total of 20 health institution partners across the country), providing vulnerable babies with proper nutrition for the first 12 months of their lives. AID FOR AIDS is extremely grateful for the support of Globant, its employees, and clients in advancing our efforts to feed hundreds of Venezuelan babies for a year; as well as for the support of many individual donors who have contributed to this effort.