Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Lost School Days

Many girls miss 5 days of school every month.  That's 25% of their classes!!  Why?  Because they're having their monthly period and cannot afford sanitary supplies.  When school is missed, girls fall behind on lessons, and all too frequently drop out of school and get married.

We're working to fix that!!  The Kafwa in Chipulukusu have started sewing reusable, moisture-proof sanitary kits for the girls.  Jodi Donald and Kristen Etter (big HealthEd Connect supporters) researched and made sample kits for the Kafwa to use.   The colorful professional-looking product the Kafwa have ended up with is very impressive. Each girl is provided a pair of panties for the pads to snap around.  Talk about happy girls!

 Thank you HealthEd Connect supporters!  This is one of the many ways your dollars are making a huge impact.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Free lunch!

There is a free lunch after all!  When you shop at Smile.Amazon.com and name HealthEd Connect as your preferred charity, they automatically send us a donation.

This month we received a check for $39.89...that's 332 lunches for our kids in Zambia!!  Keep shopping, and remember to SMILE!

Thanks for shopping at Amazon!

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Support HealthEd Connect when you shop for back-to-school items. #StartWithaSmile athttp://smile.amazon.com/ch/27-1115162 and Amazon donates.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Nurses Make the World Go Round

Sangeeta making rounds in her village
Nurses make the world go round.  Well, okay.  At a minimum they make it healthier!

HealthEd Connect is incredibly proud to nurture new nurses and assist them with scholarships as they pursue professional degrees.  The beneficiary of an endowment fund established by graduates of the Independence Sanitarium and Hospital School of Nursing over 50 years ago, HealthEd Connect is using those funds to provide scholarships for nurses pursuing professional education.  Now we need your help to keep it going Donate Now

Last year Sangeeta from Nepal was the proud recipient of a first year scholarship.  In addition to caring for her family, Sangeeta rides the bus every day to a full-time job as a basic nurse and comes home in the evening to provide volunteer care in her rural under-served village (see picture above). She's now ready to begin her second year of school and, along with a 2015 recipient from India and one from the USA, has applied for a continuing scholarship.  Unfortunately, the endowment investment did not yield sufficient returns last year to support all three.

If you've ever been the recipient of a nurse's care and compassion, now's your chance to say thanks!  Pay it forward by helping the nurses of tomorrow.  Just click here to make a donation   Donate Now   and choose Nursing Scholarship in the drop-down menu.   Please help us prepare nurses to provide health care where it's needed the most.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Orphans' support groups

Reported by Kelsey Novelli:

The children’s grief support group program, facilitated by Kafwa who have been trained to be Child Support Specialists (CSS), is going strong in the communities in Zambia! Between the three communities there are over 100 orphans who are currently participating in one of the 13-week support groups. Multiply that number x5 years of the program’s existence and you can see the incredible impact on the faces of hundreds of children!

The CSS have shared seeing children learn more about their own feelings and build confidence in articulating how they feel, seeing decrease in aggression, watching children transform from sad and withdrawn to playing and participating, and watching the children build positive and supportive relationships with their peers as well as with the compassionate CSS.  The children refer to the CSS as “Mama Madam”, reflective of the respect given to a teacher and the loving and supportive relationship they build with the CSS.

Zambian culture does not have a practice of including or communicating clearly with children after a loved one dies, leaving many children with big questions as their lives are turned upside down after a parent dies. These changes often include moving to a new home with extended relatives, sometimes in a new community. In addition to supporting the children and educating them about their grief, the CSS also advocate for the children and provide guidance and education to their caregivers.

Mental health professionals recognize that meeting a child’s emotional needs enables that child to develop self-confidence, a healthy perspective on life, focus and learn more ably, learn new skills, and aids in healthy social development. In a place where the physical needs are so numerous, it is inspiring to see the CSS’s forward-thinking in recognizing that in order for a child to truly succeed, they must also have their emotional needs addressed. And these amazing women are taking action to make sure the most vulnerable children have this opportunity.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Isubilo Graduate

Reported by Kelsey Novelli:

Alfred in June 2013
Isubilo Graduate
3 years ago the Child Support Specialists shared the story of Alfred, a double orphan (term used to describe a child when both parents have died) who was participating in the grief support group. Alfred shared that one of the things he liked about being in the group was talking about memories of his parents and of his life before their death. He said the group helped him feel more comfortable and confident to talk about these memories with friends outside of the group setting as well.

Fast-forward 3 years: The Health Ed Connect team arrives at Kasompe school for the big ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new block of classrooms. The children have prepared a special drama to present for the occasion. And who has organized this drama? Alfred, who is now the leader of the school drama club! The CSS shared that in addition to being in a leadership role with his peers, he is also an encourager to other children, reaching out to give them positive emotional support.  What a difference positive support, emotional empowerment, and a space for healing from grief have made in his life - We can’t wait to see what Alfred will be doing in another 3 years!
Alfred (in blue sweatshirt) in July 2016 participating in drama for ribbon-cutting ceremony