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ADULT BENEFICIARY: BERTA PONI MARTINS, 34
I have five children and my husband in my household. Octaviun is 16, Leonito is 14, Particia Poni is 9, and Antonio Caitanu is 6. The youngest is Abilio Junior. He is 1 year, 2 months. [Note: the children have a different surname: De Araujo]
Before CARE came, I spent time cleaning, sweeping, watering flowers, preparing breakfast. We eat corn, rice, fruit. Sometimes grown in the garden sometime bought from the kiosk. We get money from the coffee plantation.
With my first children, the biggest worry was if the baby would be born normal. There was no-one to [refer us to health services] before CARE. I ate meat, corn and oranges when I was pregnant. My parents and friends were at the births.
CARE advised lots of vegetables and rest during the pregnancy. The birth [of the youngest child] was at the house. The doctor was present. I went into labour. The doctor told me to get lots of rest or the baby [could have problems]. When trying to deliver there was lots of blood. I asked my husband to call the doctor. He walked up from the clinic to our house for the birth.
The baby was healthy. I’m feeding him rice, vegetables and eggs. I am still having health checks. The doctor advised me to go to family planning clinics. I am learning. I know to give space before having another baby.
I learned to do the community garden from CARE. Community gardening is something new. I like being involved in a group working hand-in-hand and collecting wood together.
My greatest worry is whether a baby is normal, or both the mother and baby die in birth. I still worry about that – even with the clinic here.
I hope that my five children have good access to education. They all go to this school [and have Lafaek].
I am thankful to CARE. Especially for education and health. For what we didn’t know before.