The Solly Ochoch
A MOTHERS CENTER IN SEPALU, GUATEMALA
Founded + funded with your support
I have always believed that it would be mothers who would play a lead role in alleviating the suffering of mothers and babies around the world. I know that this is only one mothers center and Sepalau is a small village and that there is so much more work to do, but just as we do the small things for our babies every day and trust that those small things will help them become great people, I trust that the seemingly small things that this beautiful community does will culminate into great things.
- ELLE ROWLEY, FOUNDER OF SOLLY BABY
A BEACON OF HOPE
Stability. Unity. A path toward self-sufficiency.
We first learned of “The Valley of the Forgotten” in 2019. It’s in these highlands of Guatemala that some of the most marginalized and impoverished people of Guatemala live. Malnourishment among children abounds, maternal and infant mortality rates are among the highest in the country, and access to basic resources (think medical support, education, etc.) are scarce at best.
Isolation, loss of their coffee industry, government corruption, and more are to blame. But the families in the 20-some villages of the valley are not to be forgotten.
After visiting the people of Sepalu in early November that same year and being touched by their warmth and inspired by their strength, we knew we needed to be a part of the work our friends at The Humble Village were doing there. So we pledged to support their grassroots efforts to educate and empower the communities.
20 acres of land. 20+ surrounding villages. 6,000 indigenous villagers.
SEE YOUR DOLLARS AT WORK
Life-saving services. Life-changing resources.
A gathering place
The Solly Ochoch itself serves as a community center. It includes a demonstration kitchen and eating area where villagers learn to cook nutritious meals, a meeting/ training room for health education and community building, and two sleeping cubicles for staff. One room includes a makeshift clinic for pregnant mothers and women undergoing exams.
An on-site nurse
Nurse Luvia provides both clinic and home visits to assess mothers and babies and provide pre- and postnatal care. She also identifies malnourished children, many of whom are in the most dire physical condition, to enroll in the nutrition program.
A community garden
A backyard garden might not seem earth-shattering, but when we visited the village in 2019, there was not one home we entered that had anything other than corn and the occasional bag of rice. To have cabbage and potatoes and beets and other nutrient-rich produce available to eat and plants to start their own gardens— in which they can grow crops both for themselves and to sell for income—is truly life-changing.
A shoulder to lean on
Even in the best of times, unexpected expenses crop up. And in already dire circumstances, the effects of a global pandemic, natural disasters and food shortages can be devastating. Through your generosity, we’ve replaced the roofs of 100 homes that were damaged in hurricanes. We sourced a new pickup truck for a worker when his was totaled. And we’ve funded a critical tongue-tie operation for a young villager, Gerson, who was literally starving.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
There is more work to be done.