Well. The first half of our time as Program Directors is complete - happy 2015 everyone!
Weird to think how fast it has gone by, but let me tell ya - we have been busy!! While holistic community development is dynamic and diverse, it definitely adds a lot of “to dos” to my list. However, addressing the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit - social profit that is), is our top priority. Having the opportunity to immerse myself into such special communities has been inspiring, challenging, ridiculously fun, and a true blessing. I’ve had so many opportunities to grow as a nurse, an individual, a Spanish speaker, a volunteer, a global citizen. While I came here to give my services and support, I have been given so much more - happiness, acceptance, realizations, friendship, and love. To give is to receive. And to receive is to inspire.
I have been determined to make a change - at least starting here in the communities in which I work. To partner and listen closely to the needs and assessments of the community- to collaborate and make change. People often forget that it’s the community that knows what change they need, want and can address. Change must start coming from the bottom up- with that it is essential to target community leaders that are excited, passionate, and driven to make a difference. One must look to…women! In a machismo culture ran by men, women are often overlooked and given less opportunity. Inspiring them and educating them on just how powerful they are is critical. And the key to true, ongoing change.
The woman - mom, wife, daughter, sister… Change Agent. To give health and education to a woman is to give her opportunity. And to give her opportunity givers her power. With power comes conflict and with conflict comes change. Being able to protect pregnant woman from illness and provide a healthy pregnancy increases maternal health and decreases child mortality (two of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals goals… three if you include women’s empowerment). This leads to the opportunities of life… offering universal education to all - GIRLS and boys, which opens various, critical doors.
As you can see, empower the women = empower the family. With a healthy family comes future and hope. I can rant about this forever but I think you get my point - we need to find leaders, namely women, who are passionate and care to change the world.
Safe to say there is a lot to be done but now that I have established a trustworthy, real, sincere relationship with the community I believe together we can catalyze change. My hope? A field, trash collection system program, health promotion program and an overall healthy Cedro Galán and Villa Guadalupe, the two communities I work in, live in, and now feel I truly belong in.
Happy, HEALTHY 2015 you all - Feliz Año Nuevo… let’s start making change!
p.s. - - My New Years' resolution is to blog more! So stay tuned.