I have been reflecting on “where we have been” and “where we are going”…. It is crazy for me to think about all that has happened this past year. We started as a group of 3 people with a big vision, asked wise people to join the board, and filed the legal papers to create the organization. Our team grew from 3 to 4, to 5, and to 6. We launched our website, and in April of 2016 we received our official 501c3 status! (a process which can take 10-48 months, rather than the 2 it took us)! The past several months, we have been establishing the organization and have even started 2 projects, with more planned for 2017!
I spent a couple weeks this fall in Honduras and Guatemala, visiting our potential partner organizations and assessing the major health needs of our current Honduras project. In the rural areas of Honduras, there are thousands of people without access to health services – children suffering from skin infections and diarrhea, malnourished mothers with malnourished children, and people who have died from a preventable disease. We will be returning in February to conduct the trainings for 34 Community Health Workers. These men and women will be trained to provide basic first aid, to prevent infections, and to share proper sanitation, hygiene, and water filtration to their communities. They will literally be able to save lives!
After completing our assessment of the major health problems, we started our community health worker trainings, in partnership with a local Hispanic church in Gaithersburg, MD. The trainings have been wonderful, as the health workers are learning important nutritional information to change their lives! Several of them have even lost weight and changed their lifestyles to be healthier since joining the training classes! They are eager to take the knowledge they are learning and to share this information with their community.
Our team has continued to grow and now includes 8 people on our core team, 2 graduate practicum students, 2 interns, and 5 volunteers! We have been blessed with great partner organizations, and have 5 projects planned for 2017. As I look back on our timeline of this past year, I couldn’t be more grateful for “where we have been” and more excited about “where we are going!”