Jun 11, 2021

Update #10 - The results are in...

Special Mother's Day Meal
Special Mother's Day Meal

On May 17, 2021 our 2020 cohort of Community Health Leaders took their final examination.

I was nervous for them, and expecting their scores to be lower than usual.

The course has started just before DR went into quarantine due to COVID-19; they then spent months without lessons. Then the group spent a few more months receiving pre-recorded classes virtually. They weren’t able to visit their neighbors to share the information they were learning. When in-person training finally resumed, the women had to wear masks and maintain distance as much as possible. There wasn’t as much opportunity to develop the bonds of friendship that usually form within most cohorts.

All in all, the odds were against this group of 9 women being as successful as other groups we’ve had.

As is often the case, though, the common adversity they face made these women stronger and more dedicated.

One of the last lessons given taught the ladies how to give injections. Most practiced on oranges, but a few of the braver students also practiced on their fellow classmates. The next day several participants wrote to their group to share their success in giving insulin shots to their neighbors. They weren’t letting COVID stop them from serving their communities with their new knowledge.

In addition, whatever friendships this cohort wasn’t able to form in person, they made up for in their group chat. I’ve never seen any other group communicate as actively as this one – they are constantly sending encouraging messages (as well as teasing jokes) to keep each other smiling and inspired.

And lastly, every single student scored 90 or above on their final exam, demonstrating their determination to master the health information that they know will benefit themselves, their families, and their communities.

Rather than being one of the least successful cohorts, this group has turned out to be the highest achieving.

We’re proud of all out graduates, but this group has truly blown us away. Well done, ladies!

Lesson on How to Give Shots
Lesson on How to Give Shots
Final Exam Scores
Final Exam Scores
Jun 2, 2021

Thank You

We at GRACE Cares offer our deepest thanks to everyone who gave to this project page to support two important education projects led by local heroes with Project Hearts in Baitoa, Dominican Republic and the Munali Youth Empowerment Program (MYEP) in Lusaka Province, Zambia. With your generous donations, Project Hearts will soon begin their next cycle of Community Health Leadership training and MYEP is able to provide more books to more children nine years of age and younger. No more funds are needed at this time so we are taking down this project page, but we wanted you to know that this initiative that you gave to will improve the quality of life for the people of Baitoa and the children of Lusaka Province and we are forever grateful for your generosity.

Apr 15, 2021

Meet Rosa!

Rosa
Rosa

My name is Rosa. I live in the community of Guaco in La Vega, DR.

My experience with the Community Health Leadership course was incredible. I enrolled in the class in 2019 thanks to a woman I met on a bus on the way to Santiago. She and I started chatting, and she told me about a class that she was going to start in Baitoa. She told me it was not only free, they also helped with transportation, and I told her that I would like to participate as well.

For the first day of class the woman told me how to get to her house and from there we went together to Project Hearts’ office. Unfortunately, this woman was not able to continue in the course, but I kept attending on my own. I enjoyed all the topics we were learning about, but what motivated me the most was the reception and the treatment that we received at Project Hearts. Our teacher, Dr. Yerky, and her assistant, Juana, and Marissa; they are all great human beings with caring and humanitarian hearts.

In the course I learned many things about health, but what I liked the most were the topics on the correct use of various medications, how to take care of the environment, proper personal hygiene, and, most importantly, how hand washing can prevent so many diseases.

All of this prompted me to continue learning, so after graduating from the CHL course I started going to a medical office in my neighborhood so I could get more practice and help in my community even more.

One person in particular that I dedicated myself to helping was Nereida. She passed away a couple months ago after facing many health complications, but during the past year or so I cared for her, giving insulin shots to help with her diabetes, and changing the dressings on wounds from an accident she was in. Nereida’s daughter, Esther, witnessed how I took care of her mother, and is always thanking me how I was always there to help whenever Nereida needed me.

Now there are three new leaders who are taking the CHL course who were motivated by me so that the knowledge in our community continues to multiply.

Nereida
Nereida
Nereida's daughter Esther
Nereida's daughter Esther
 
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