WINGS is excited to have been invited to participate in GlobalGiving’s last matching challenge of the year. This is the perfect opportunity to make your generous donation go further in support of WINGS’ efforts to provide Guatemalan women, men and youth with access to family planning education and services.
Here’s how it works: for every donation that you make to our family planning project, http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/family-planning-for-guatemalans-living-in-poverty/, between TODAY and October 21st, GlobalGiving will match your donation by 30, 40 or 50% - the larger the donation the greater the matching amount! If we raise the most donations we are eligible for a bonus award of $1,000.
With the highest birthrate in all of Latin America and the Caribbean, the importance of providing women, men and youth in Guatemala with access to family planning education and services is as pertinent as ever. Nearly 1/3 of all pregnancies in Guatemala are unplanned and 1/2 of all women in Guatemala have a child by the age of 20. The result is that 1 in every 2 children in Guatemala suffers from chronic malnutrition and every year thousands of Guatemalan women die from unsafe abortions or birth-related complications. Such tragedies are completely avoidable. Indeed, its costs as little as $7 to provide a woman with a year’s worth of birth control pills.
For nearly ten years WINGS has been at the forefront of improving access to family planning education and services to women, men and youth in Guatemala. Working in low-income, rural and indigenous communities, WINGS provides family planning information through educational talks and financially subsidizes family planning methods for those most in need. WINGS also trains community family planning promoters who act as resource individuals, providing both information and a range of affordable contraceptive methods in very rural areas. In 2009 alone WINGS reached 14,903 people through educational talks and provided 23,171 temporary methods.
You can help ensure that WINGS continues to provide these critical services TODAY by participating in GlobalGivings’ Give More, Get More Challenge and by sharing this message with your friends. A donation of just $50 will be matched at 30% and provide 9 women with one-year’s worth of protection from unwanted pregnancies.
Thank you for supporting WINGS and for helping to improve the lives of women in Guatemala.
The WINGS Team
P.S. To see where WINGS ranks in the competition, click here.
WINGS has been fortunate enough to host numerous, well-qualified volunteers in 2010. Here is what one volunteer, Shelly Cooper, said about working for WINGS’ Cervical Cancer Detection and Treatment Program this past summer:
“I couldn’t have spent my summer off from medical school working with a more valuable program than WINGS’ cervical cancer program. After reviewing patient charts and attending clinics, I had the opportunity to talk to many Guatemalan women and hear their amazing stories. Many of the women had never been screened for cervical cancer before. Of those that had previously been screened using a Pap-smear, the majority had never received their results and/or several years had passed since their last screening. In addition to the invaluable preventative medicine component of these clinics, the nurses are also able to detect and begin treating various vaginal infections that same day. Patients may have been suffering for months until the WINGS mobile clinic happens to be in their municipality and distributes the necessary antibiotics. These clinics also provide a unique opportunity for women to comfortably talk with two experienced Guatemalan nurses about family planning, OBGYN issues or just basic female anatomy! The WINGS cervical cancer program is truly a successful and effective program.”
WINGS’ cervical cancer program was very successful this past summer. In July alone, WINGS nurses screened 263 women for cervical cancer. Of these women, 97% were screened for the first time ever. These clinics likely saved the lives of three women who were found to have early signs of cervical cancer. WINGS’ staff was able to successfully treat two of these women with cryotherapy on the same day. The third, who showed signs of more advanced cancer, was referred to the National Cancer Institute, where WINGS will subsidize the cost of all follow-up treatment needed to help save her life.
WINGS is very grateful to its donors who help make these life-saving services available to underserved women in Guatemala. Thank you for your continued support of WINGS and for making a real difference in the lives of women in Guatemala!
The WINGS Team
WINGS’ founder, Sue Patterson, recently visited the home of Mariela, a former WINGS beneficiary who chose to have a tubal ligation a few years ago. Here is what Sue learned about Mariela during her visit:
Together with her two daughters aged 7 and 9, Mariela lives in a house made out of cornstalks and cardboard, which is precariously placed on a muddy mountainside. Her house was severely damaged during tropical storm Agatha last May, but has since been rebuilt with more cornstalks and cardboard. Mariela and her mother make and sell stuffed peppers, earning between the two of them about $6 dollars a day. Given the adversity she faces, when Mariela lost her third child to meningitis four years ago she decided to have a tubal ligation. While her family opposed the operation, Mariela decided for herself that she did not want to have any more children and went ahead with the procedure. Not having to care for any more young children has been very liberating for Mariela, who is currently enrolled in night school where she is studying the 7th grade. She now has aspirations to become a psychologist, so she can help others who have gone through difficult times. While Mariela’s situation is still precarious, she is now able to focus on improving the situation for herself and her two surviving daughters.
As the story of Mariela highlights, the opportunity to limit one’s family size can change the course of entire families, enabling them to direct precious and scare resources to improve their lives and that of their existing children. Thanks to your generous support, more families in Guatemala will have access to essential family planning services that make a real difference in their lives.