Caring for a premature baby is not only a difficult task, but a costly one. Some of the costs that come from having a preemie baby are medical bills, medication costs, weekly transport fares to get to the hospital for checkups, and formula since some mothers have trouble with breastfeeding at the rate the preemie requires. Most mothers find it very hard to meet these expenses. We have many mothers who are young, abandoned by their husbands, or in tough financial situations. Our goal is to help a preemie baby by supporting the mother. The way we do that is through the Manna Program. The Manna Program comes from the story in the Bible where God provides food from heaven for the Israelites. This program illustrates how God is our provider and how we are to be good stewards of what we have been freely given.
For our mothers, they are given monthly food packages. They receive food packages that contain posho, rice, beans, sugar, cooking oil, fish, and other essentials like soap. These mothers are then educated on the importance of saving. Each month they steward their blessing by saving the money they would have spent on buying the food themselves. This is a new and important concept for our mothers since most tend to live day by day. We encourage our mothers to save a minimum of 2,000 uxg a day. In a wooden lock box, these mothers save for the future. While the program helps to educate and encourage our mothers, we have put an emphasis on empowering them. We have sat with each participant of the program and dreamed up desires for their savings. Some mothers want to start their own business selling shoes, charcoal or sodas. Some mothers want to invest in sewing machines or purchasing their own land. We hold workshops that teach our mothers practical skills like tailoring, craft making, and computer skills. After the completion of the six month Manna Program, we pray that our mothers will be able to be finically independent and have a way to bring in a steady income. This program gives direct assistance to our mothers for the short and long term.