Mother and Child Health

Children's Health Starts at Home, Expansion of the “Pastoral de la Primera Infancia”

Organisation: Adveniat e.V.
Partner organisation in partner country: Pastoral de la Primera Infancia


The state of healthcare for children and mothers in Guatemala is highly problematic, with only rudimentary health services and medical information available. Most of the poor, mainly indigenous people have hardly any knowledge of their human and medical rights. Infant and maternal mortality rates are extremely high, and malnutrition is also widespread, especially in rural areas.


Creating healthy and sustainable development opportunities for pregnant women and children up to the age of six.

  • 450 trained volunteer family mentors provide monthly support to families in this phase of life - "at home", in their immediate living environment
  • 1.600 children of 90 villages have better access to public health services
  • At least 70 of the 90 public health centers offer improved services for the population of young children in the villages, at least 25 of which are better equipped with simple but effective measuring devices
  • Basic training and further training for volunteer family facilitators, trainers (and if possible midwives/"comadronas") based on the manual developed by the Pastoral de la Primera Infancia 
  • Monthly: basic medical and social care by the companions "at home" for disadvantaged (pregnant) mothers and their children up to the age of six years 
  • Communication on mother-child healthcare and early childhood issues through various media (radio, TV, video, podcasts, social media, print)
  • Media and online training and information work on the prevention of infectious diseases



From its beginnings, the Pastoral de la Primera Infancia has developed into a functioning basic health service in 10 of Guatemala's 16 dioceses since 2008. The continuation of this important work is also planned for the period from 2026 and is to be expected in view of the existing structures. After the children turn six years old, the volunteers will look for other families to accompany them in the future. In this way, the work of the "Pastoral de la Primera Infancia" in the community will be maintained in the long term thanks to the training concept and the involvement of the accompanying persons at grassroots level and will not disintegrate, as it is often the case with comparable aid projects, which, unlike the PPI, are often implemented by aid organizations that are only temporarily active on site. 

Special features:

The consistent basic orientation through the "grassroots structure" of the project with the hundreds of volunteers, most of whom also come from the target group of marginalized women and families. They understand from their own experience what the basic health services are all about. Their effects are usually quite immediately visible and are in turn internalized by the project participants and used or actively shared in the future.

Here you can find further information. 
Project film (2022):