|Photo of the graduation event|
After eight months of receiving preventive health training, 41 women from San Pedro II and 65 women from San Pablo I and San Pablo II received diplomas to become “Health Promoters”. This means they will be responsible for training at least five other families in their community what they have learned. Lessons learned include topics of personal hygiene, purification of water, transmission/prevention of diarrhea, family planning, respiratory infections, and importance of vaccines to name a few. As described in my last blog, each one of these promoters will also receive an infrastructure project (floor, improved wood burning stove, or a latrine) in order to improve their sanitary conditions. They will be trained on the importance, use, and maintenance of these projects.
|Health Promoters from San Pedro II|
receiving their diplomas
A week prior to the graduation the president and I gave oral exams to each participant regarding the information they have been taught over and over again. Of the 41 health promoters, 18 passed the exam with a 75% or above. I noticed those who speak Spanish generally passed whereas though who do not understand Spanish tended to fail. It surprised me because I had a Spanish-K’iche translator at every workshop. The pattern seems to be that those who have gone to school and have the ability to learn and speak Spanish have the tendency to capture information more easily; whereas those who only speak the Mayan language probably did not go to elementary school and therefore have yet to understand HOW to learn and how to retain information. Also, those who speak Spanish heard each workshop twice (first in Spanish, then in K’iche). Therefore, hearing each workshop twice as well as sitting in on the “Review” days where the information was again given in both languages must have made it easier for those bi-lingual speakers to learn. Of the 18 promoters who passed, 100% speak Spanish.
All 41 of my promoters received a diploma for “Participation of the Healthy Homes course”. Those 18 who passed received another diploma for being an “Official Health Promoter” as well as a carnét or Identification Card from the “Area de Salud” (Health Area in the capital of our department) with their photo, cedula number, title, and signatures from the Health Center. After the graduation several women approached me asking if we could have another review session and another attempt at the exam in order to become “Official Health Promoters”. I loved this part of the day because it showed me that although the women may not have the ability to learn easily, they’re still eager to learn it and become leaders in their community. Therefore, in January we will have another review session and exam session in order to give the women another opportunity.
|Diploma for participation, Dipoma for becoming |
an official health promoter, and the Carnét from the
Area de Salud de Quiché
Overall, it was an excellent way to show the health promoters the importance their leadership will have on their communities. By having such an elaborate graduation and finalization to their workshops, I hope it hit home that they can accomplish their goals regarding improving the health of their citizens. We felt that if we just finished the workshops without much of a celebration it would be like any organization that comes in and teaches for a little bit but then leaves them. Jacob and I wanted to be sure to finish it off correctly to give them the confidence they need to keep up with what they have learned and hopefully continue practicing it as well.
The health promoter trainings have been a great experience and our goal is that it has become sustainable enough to continue once our service is complete.
|Our awesome Marimba band! Ages 10-13..and |
they rocked :-)