Dear Friends and Supporters,
It has been a long time since our last update and a lot has taken place in the intervening months. I would like to take this opportunity to update you on our current work and future plans.
The most active aspect of our health program recently has been in working with disabled individuals throughout the district of Ollantaytambo. After conducting a general census of the population to identify indivudal cases and determine the needs of those individuals we have continued work with a group of ten patients. So far we have helped two receive wheelchairs, gotten a walker for a young woman who suffers from epillepsy and an orthotic shoe for a polio survivor. Some of the assistance we hope to offer in the near future includes getting a hearing aid for a hearing-impaired boy, corrective eye surgery for another and epilepsy medication for another. See the attached link for more information on some of the patients we work with.
In the area of health education we are currently in the planning and fundraising stage of a new outreach program. The idea of this project is to work with women from the indigenous community of Patacancha to train them as community health promoters. Awamaki has a long-standing relationship with this community through our fair-trade textiles project and we are excited about the possibility of expanding this relationship into the area of community health.
We are currently participating in the South America “Open Challenge” Fundraiser which is being sponsored by Global Giving’s Clarissa Driban. If we can raise the most of any project by June 30th then Clarissa will make a monthly donation of $100 for one year. All of the money that we raise for the project during this period will be designated to offering assistance to the highest priority patients in our disability outreach program.
Please help us spread the word about this fundraiser so that we can reach our goal and offer much-needed assistance to our beneficiaries. Thank you for your continued support!
During the final two months of 2010 Awamaki began working with a psychologist who attended patients in the health education center of Ollantaytambo's clinic. Although the social stigma of visiting a psychologist often prohibits people in Ollantaytambo from visiting a psychologist, Dr. Liliana Peña was able to begin working with over 40 patients.
Nearly all of the patients who visited with Dr. Peña were women, and over a third were dealing with domestic violence issues. As she points out, "many women assume that the violence that they suffer at the hand of their partner is a normal part of daily life...they have to suffer this abuse silently because they are afraid and feel hopeless." Having a psychologist in the health center "lets people know that they have a place to learn more about their rights, that they have someone who will listen to them and help them face their problems." She also notes that the majority of patients who came for one consult returned for a second visit.
While we were very pleased to be able to offer this essential social service at no cost to the population of Ollantaytambo for two months, we do not currently have the resources to continue funding Dr. Peña's work in the clinic. In order to be able to count on her presence consistently for the coming year we need to raise approximately $3000. Can you help spread the word about this project to help us achieve our goal?
Thank you for your continued support and of Awamaki and our work in the community of Ollantaytambo, and we look forward to updating you on our progress throughout the coming year.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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