The Life Celebration Day is another important activity that you, leader, performs at the Chld’s Pastoral.
On this day, that takes place once a month, the children are weighed, the families gather to celebrate the children's good health condition and to help each other when they are facing difficulties.
The chosen place for this celebration should be close to where the families live. It is recommended that the groups are not very big so that the families can feel warmly welcomed, feel comfortable and have the opportunity to speak and the children have space to play.
The Life Celebration day is a living faith witness. It shows through solidarity and participation of a community in the search of their citizenship rights. That is why this is a day blessed by God.
Leader, why weighing children in the community?
When you weigh a child that is below the expected weight and talk to the family, the parents may think that the child is malnourished because they do not know how to take care of him/her. However, we know that the families want the best for their children. Certainly the families have already done everything they knew and could for the child to grow well.
When the families are gathered to weigh the children and celebrate life, they can notice that some difficulties are common and can be shared with the others. The parents of malnourished, obese, sick children or of those who are not growing well will realize that they are not alone and that together they may find ways to face such difficulties.
Thus, it is important to encourage the families to participate in the Life Celebration day.
The Life Celebration day needs to be planned with a lot of love. It is advisable to count on the help of other leaders, of people from the families such as the mothers, the fathers and the grandparents from the community, so that together they can organize this day and can prepare:
• A warm welcome to the children and their families;
• A joyful spiritual moment that pleases the children;
• A delicious snack enriched with regional food;
• A place with toys and games for the children.
Apart from that, the family members can help to take off the children’s clothes, talking to them about how important it is to be weighed and can also put the children in the scale.
Thus, you and the other leaders can devote yourselves to the preparation of the scale, to the weighing of the children and also to taking note in the leader’s Notebook and in the Health Card graph.
When there is someone to entertain the children, the leaders can talk better to the parents.
Talk to the parents about the weight result is as important as taking the weight. What is the purpose of knowing that there are malnourished children if the community does not get together to search for solutions?
In the talk with the families, it is better not to cite, for example, the name of the malnourished or obese children, but try to find out the causes and what can be done to solve the problem.
After the activities of the Life Celebration day end, it is important to gather the leaders to evaluate the result of that activity, observing if something lacked, what went all right and what can be improved on the next weighing day.
Besides the Life Celebration day, it is necessary to find other occasions to talk to the parents. In these talks, the parents can exchange information about health, education and other situations that affect the families’ life in the community.
They can see that some of their problems can affect everybody and that they can be solved if taken to the local authorities. For example: the lack of day care centres, basic sanitation and health services.
When the families get together to talk, everybody has more condition to discuss the problems, find out solutions, verify what are the people’s duties and plan actions to be taken in order to ensure the children and the families’ rights. Informed and organized families know what their duties are and have more pressure power to claim for their rights!
“These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers” Act 2: 42
In these visits it is important to:
Talk about breastfeeding/feeding;
Talk about the baby’s growth in this age;
Answer the questions in the Leader’s Notebook.
Suggestion for the task of this qualification stage:
Visit the babies that you follow and check how their growth is in the weight curve.
Invite the babies’ families to take part of the Life Celebration Day.