Monday, April 28, 2014

Another milestone

The learning environment takes another leap forward! The second classroom block (3 classrooms on the right leg of the L shape) is completed and eagerly occupied by the students at Chipulukusu, Zambia.  Classes were on split sessions previously with only 3 classrooms and the church sanctuary to accommodate 400+ students.  We now have 7 discreet classroom spaces.  The kindergarten room is especially delightful.  Situated in the corner where the two classroom blocks meet, the room has interesting angles and plenty of windows. We're hoping to get small tables and little hand-carved stools so the "babies," as they're called in Zambia, can work together in groups.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bitter Sweet

After mentoring and nurturing our first budding little teachers  in Zambia for 5 months and then serving two years as a program specialist/assistant in the HEC office, Lisa (left) is going on to grad school and preparing to launch into the next phase of her career.  We wish her all success and know she will always be a member of the team.  We will miss you Lisa!!

At the same time we are thrilled to introduce Julie Heide (right) who has now  joined the team. Julie brings a depth of experience and an enthusiasm that will help take us to the next level.  We are delighted to welcome her and look forward to many adventures in the future as we continue to empower women and children.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Renewed and Inspired

Jeffrey Sachs, keynote speaker

Sherri and Jac (right) networking with new friends from Nigeria and Canada
Jac and I attended the Global Health and Innovation Conference at Yale University last week and came away refreshed, inspired, and full of new ideas we can hardly wait to implement.  It's pretty awesome to attend an event with over 2000 people that share your passion.  The keynote speaker was Jeffrey Sachs, noted economist and author of the book End of Poverty.  He reminded us that JFK had no idea how we were going to get to the moon when he boldly stepped out and declared we would.  Rather, he set the goal, mobilized the team, and only then addressed the how-to.  Sounds a LOT like our HealthEd Connect programs in method but certainly makes them look like a slam dunk in comparison!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What would you do?

Jac and I spent a fun day at Graceland last weekend with a group of Leadership students who wanted to learn more about HealthEd Connect.  We put them to work!  We presented a few pictures setting up the challenges in each country where we have programs, presented a scenario in which they became the persons living in that country, and asked them what they would do.  After discussing options in small groups, they shared their suggestions and we then showed them pictures of what our local heroes have actually accomplished in each country.  The Graceland students were amazed and duly impressed with the insights, ingenuity, dedication, and OUTCOMES spear headed by our hero health workers!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Salute to our Heroes!

Kafwa preparing School Lunches in Zambia

Sangita making a house call in Biratnagar Nepal
Please give a shout out to the awesome Community Health Workers in the world as we celebrate Community Health Worker week April 8-12.  These are the amazing people that provide front-line care in remote villages, welcome babies safely into the world, prevent countless illnesses through the teaching of sanitation, and provide much needed care during emergency situations.  We salute these marvelous people and the incredible good they do in the world!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

They did it Again!

Team Huddle prior to presentation
The Graceland ENACTUS [formerly SIFE] team made the trek to Cincinnati last week to compete in the combined Regional and National Competition.  They were awesome and placed in the top 12 teams in the Nation!!!  Two of the six presenters, Lynley Closson and Karl Bradford, were on the Zambian Team in January.  We were so proud to see the HealthEd Connect logo on the screen as they described the Zambian projects they helped develop as well as the many other programs they supported locally.  One of their Lamoni projects that has been super successful is "Midnight Munchies."  For those of you who know Lamoni, you are aware it has a population of around 2,000 residents.  Not too much night life for university students in a town that small!  The ENACTUS students worked with 4 small local food venues in town
to take turns staying open from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. once a week.  The Graceland students love it, the merchants have increased their revenue, and a new tradition has been born!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Really??? At age 13??

One of our long-time HealthEd Connect supporters has really stepped up her efforts to impact the world.  Georgia Seagraves, a 13-year-old from California turned a Girl Scout and school opportunity into an incredible project.  Check out what her Mom (Ruth, our HealthEd Connect graphic designer) wrote me yesterday about her efforts to spread the word about the need for Cord Blood donations:

Together, we [Ruth and Georgia] defined her target audience--young women.  So she decided on a fun theme "Give Birth to A Super Hero."  She then designed a logo, a mascot, and a flyer with tear-offs to spread the word.  And post-donation a certificate that can be put in a baby book and a Super Hero Cord Blood Donor iron-on transfer that can be put on a onesie/shirt for the baby to wear.  She asked her Grandpa Dave [HealthEd Connect's web master] to create a simple "<>" website based on the design we came up with displaying links to BetheMatch and other resources she found on-line and sharing the amazing differences between cord blood and bone marrow. If you have a minute, check it out!  Her Girl Scout Silver Award requires that she have measurable goals so she is tracking the visitors to her site as one way to measure her the success of her awareness campaign.