Posts tagged Health
Posts tagged Health
The photograph shows the mothers and children cheering with the fresh glasses of soy milk we just made. Malnutrition is a tremendous problem among the people here, most of whom are of Lencan descent, one of the indigenous populations of Honduras. My coordinating NGO, World Vision (counterpart at far left of photograph) and I work with the women to find local and nutritious foods they can make for themselves and their families. Soy, one of these local products, only costs 10 Lempiras ($.53) a pound, and is therefore more cost effective than other products, mainly meats, with the same protein content. We begin every class with a charla (presentation) over the importance of nutrition and different nutritional elements available in local foods and then cook a few different types of food from local ingredients, soy milk and soy chorizo being examples.
- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Lauren Roberts
Happy National Nurses Week!
Angelina comes running up after school yelling ‘Sister Johanna, Sister Johanna!’. I smile and can’t help laugh as she looks up at me in her faded school dress. She smiles the biggest smile you’ve ever seen and grabs a stack of nets to carry on her head to help. We’re in the middle of a net distribution as part of Ghana Health Service’s ‘Roll Out Campaign’.
As we distribute and hang net in every household, one per married couple and one for every two children, Angelina runs back and forth from where we store the nets, making the process go a little quicker. She’s one of my most favorite people in my village but her name can be deceiving. Asking for a coin to buy a water sachet because she’s thirsty, she comes back smacking on a piece of bubble gum. My counterpart George Atoanan and I try to scold her but end up laughing instead! Even though she’s devious, she our little helper for the day and puts a smile on our face.
I’ve visited with her family since the campaign and see that the treated mosquito nets are still hung and I can rest assured she’s sleeping safe every night. Because she’s healthy and malaria-free, she can continue to smile her mischievous smile every day.
- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Johanna Twiford
Collaborate. Share. Act. End it.
Peace Corps Health Volunteer Danielle Dunlap and Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Katie Woodruff team up while making neem cream during a demonstration in Cape Coast, Ghana.
Neem cream is a natural mosquito repellent made from inexpensive local resources, including leaves of the neem tree, shea butter and soap, that helps prevent mosquito bites which can transmit malaria.
“I took this photo of myself with three second grade girls in a village in Guatemala, where my site mate and I worked with the community to build a three-classroom bottle school. These girls helped us collect bottles and fill them with trash. Someday I hope these girls will be able to attend school there.” - Peace Corps Health Volunteer Rebecca Dreyfuss
Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco recently hosted an HIV/AIDS awareness session for 60 girl students at a local high school in Tarmikt. Aside from info presentations and an awesome jeopardy game led by Peace Corps Volunteer Sairah Jahangir, the attendees also had a Skype session with two female HIV/AIDS patients from Washington, D.C.
Moroccan counterpart Fatiha Haouat translated questions written by students who wanted to know things like what it’s like being HIV-positive, how the women found out their status, and what their lives are like with the disease. For all of the students it was the first time they had ever met an actual person living with HIV, nonetheless had the opportunity to talk frankly about what living with the disease is like. Perhaps it was one of the first times HIV-positive women have ever had a platform in Morocco to speak publicly about their status and be unashamed. Michelle and Charlene, the two women interviewed, did an amazing job sharing their life stories and helped to change many perspectives on the stigma of the disease, especially as it affects women.
The resounding message was that HIV is like any other disease and that they lead very normal lives. They advocated inclusion and support of women living with HIV, and also helped promote a safe sex message among students. It was a moving interview that called into question ideas of victimhood in Morocco, and how blaming the victim is a kind of injustice: Charlene became HIV-positive when she was raped at the age of 8, an incident that also left her pregnant. Charlene is a practicing Sunni Muslim who is now a resident at N Street Village, the organization that facilitated the interview. The Volunteers who led the session said it was incredible to see the faces of these two women projected on the schoolroom wall, to hear their actual voices speaking truth to stigma in a country where HIV patients cannot speak out for fear of persecution.
“I can’t say this experience is for everyone, it takes serious commitment. But if you are a traveler at heart, if you recognize that you are not done learning but are tired of being taught from a book or lecture, if you want a serious challenge, self-growth and the chance to try to make a difference, then this is for you.
Nothing I have ever done prepared me for this, but nothing has ever been so rewarding either. It has defined me and given me more purpose for whatever I may chose to do next and empowered me with skills that will apply to every aspect of my life, be it work or personal. If any of this seems appealing, I would say, at the very least look it at it, consider it. There’s so much to gain.”
- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Mariana Andrade-Bejarano, Madagascar
Women’s History Month Fact
Peace Corps Volunteers in Romania created the first Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) in 1995. Designed to help empower young women, Camp GLOW is now being held at 60 posts worldwide.
Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Tim McNaught helped develop a medical records database for a humanitarian health clinic in Azerbaijan. Here he is fitting a young patient with new eye glasses.