September 20, 2010

Lean Rey Francisco is almost 3 years old, but unlike many kids his age, he cannot play, walk, crawl, nor sit up. His malnourishment is so severe that the simple task of rolling over requires tremendous effort from the child. His grandmother is the only adult taking care of him and his two other siblings in Pasacao, Camarines Sur.

Lean has never tasted milk from his mother but fed on rice coffee for most of his 3 years.

In Pasacao, 80% of the children weighed were severely malnourished and all of them are coffee drinkers. Because of poverty, most people in Pasacao believe that coffee is enough to feed a child. But how much nutritional value does coffee really have?

What happened to Lean?

Kara David’s search for answers takes her to Bulacan in search of Lean’s mother, then to Manila where medical records show Lean was once a healthy baby. As the child’s history unfolds, Kara discovers how coffee became a great determinant of Lean’s condition.

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