Wow! What an incredible 2 weeks we had in El Salvador training 2 Community Health Worker (CHW) groups from 4 different communities. The now certified CHWs kept telling us there were not words to express their gratitude. They were so proud to be empowered to be the health leaders in their communities and we are so proud of them. Read the words below of our intern, Krista, who witnessed this transformation firsthand…
For the El Salvador project, we were able to successfully train 16 people from the rural areas of El Amate/El Sunza/San Miguel, and 16 people from Texistepeque. We covered health topics such as first aid, CPR, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, water, cancer, and emotional health. We had a wide range of ages and backgrounds in the trainings, but everyone there had one thing in common… they wanted to learn. The word “knowledge” seemed to stand out the most to me during our time down in El Salvador. It was very humbling to see and hear that all the students wanted was a basic understanding of how they can help their community members in times of need. The students in both trainings picked up the information very quickly, as we taught them how to take blood pressure, pulse, respiration, temperature, and arm and waist circumference. We gave each student a pre-test and post-test to measure their improvement from the beginning of the class to the end. It was great to see the majority of students go from scores of 50% to close to 100% by the end of the trainings.
Each student got the opportunity to come up on stage during graduation and receive a certificate, as well as a bag with their blood pressure cuff, tape measurer, and thermometer. This was a very special moment for them because graduation ceremonies are not common in these areas, and you could see the pride exuding off of each of their faces. We were very proud of them as well! Seeing their progress in such a short amount of time made the months of preparation worth the time and energy invested in these projects.
We were able to educate, equip, and empower the people of El Amate/El Sunza and Texistepeque. This is the mission of International HELP: to educate and empower local people to develop their own communities for health improvement. It was a humbling and rewarding experience to be able to witness these trainings first-hand and see how much pride these people have in their communities. We will now move into the evaluation and sustainability stage for these El Salvador projects. We will be following up with the health leaders and continuing to give information on specific health topics.
A special thank-you is in order to all of those who have donated to International HELP, as well as to those who donated to sponsor a community health worker. You made this trip possible! I can honestly say that I have witnessed first-hand your money, time, and resources be used to better the lives of those who were trained, as well as many more for generations to come.
– Krista Johnson, Partnership Coordinator