Ok, so I think that some of you are starting to think that this is all "Pizza and Pepsi" over here as an old teacher of mine, Mr. Lines, used to say. First of all, there isn't any pizza and we all know the Cocacola company rules the world. So in order to counteract that growing opinion and to give you an idea of what I'm supposed to be doing here, I thought I would let you in on our project framework.
Community members (men, women, and children) will actively pareticipate in activities that promote personal and environmental health and reinforce appropriate health behaviors.
This is the health lesson portion where we are focusing on everything from health care issues such as the extremely successful Moroccan vaccination program, AIDS/HIV awareness and reproductive health (by far the most incindiary of our tasks, nutrition, and general personal hygiene and preventative health. The other big chunk of this program is dedicated to water purification and solid waste disposal. This one is particularly huge in my area since there is no applicable infastructure.
Targeted professional and non-professional health workers will have enhanced capacity to deliver effective preventive health education throughout rural communities.
Here we're trying to focus on training basically anyone involved in the birthing process outside of a health care facility whether it is a medically trained midwife or Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA).
Community-based organizations and institutions will have increased capacity to reinforce healthy lifestyles through environmental and social change.
In my humble opinion this is where everything is going to happen. The first two goals are great but I as an outsider learning the language is not the person best suited to try and change longstanding practices. I believe most of my work is going to be helping get associations formed or assisting current associations in their work. Advising them on better data collection techniques and connecting them across regional boundaries. I've spent the last couple of days meeting with the various leaders of several associations in my area trying to get a sense of what they are doing. I would love to talk specifics, but I don't believe I'm allowed to.
So right now I'm laying the groundwork for the more project oriented existence that is sure to come later on in my service. At the moment though, it is all meeting people and talking as well as trying to learn the language.