When Monterey first asked me if I would go with her to start a CHW (Community Health Worker) training in India, I was a little overwhelmed. We have done a lot of great projects, but they were all in the US or Central America. Are we ready for working in South Asia!? I had previously lived in Nepal and my husband had lived in India, so we know some of the challenges of getting a project started. I really wanted to be a part of the training and wanted to help make it a success, so we made it happen.
We arrived in Ongole, India to a huge poster welcoming our arrival. The trainings went even better than I imagined. There were a few obstacles here and there, but we were able to make it through those issues. We trained 13 women from the village of Yerajarla and two other nearby villages. We taught the CHWs about first aid, taking vital signs, nutrition, and other relevant diseases.
The women we trained were really excited to be CHWs. All 13 women passed their test! They were happy to learn new things, and they were excited to have a way to help and serve their community. Some of the CHWs were already helping members of their community even before Monterey had left India.
I know they will be amazing CHWs because they were all hospitable, helpful, and served us so sweetly in our short time there. They even dressed Monterey and I up in beautiful saris, so we could wear their cultural outfit to the graduation ceremony. The graduation ceremony was a great time to hear how the pastor and church we partnered with was eager to use the new skills and knowledge they learned to minister to their families and neighbors. After we gave these women their certificates, I realized that this is what makes any difficulties or worries with a project all worth it – educating, empowering, and equipping communities to lead healthy lives!
– Nan Bartholomew, Assessment Director
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