Apply to Join

Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty

by WINGS
Play Video
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
WINGS entry with nurses using PPE
WINGS entry with nurses using PPE

The last few months have been intense! I am happy to report that our Antigua clinic reopened its doors in mid-June, almost three months after we took the unprecedented decision to suspend most field operations.  It took us a bit longer than expected, and we had some challenges getting all the PPE and other supplies (for example, non-contact thermometers) that were sold out or unavailable in the country. 

Anticipating high demand for services in Antigua, we set up two clinic spaces, where patients are seen by appointment only.  We will gradually reopen the rest of our services.  Next up is the clinic near the Guatemala City dump.  The Ministry of Health has officially approved our clinic license application, giving us the green light to begin services as soon as possible. We are excited that this clinic space will allow us to serve a population living under the harshest of conditions of urban poverty.  We anticipate this clinic will eventually offer services 4 days a week.  

Shortly after will be time for what we are calling “Temporary Clinics”.  This is part of the ‘new normal’ and, as the name states, will be community-based points of services that WINGS will temporarily “take over” one day each week, and where our nurses will offer services.   We are working on agreements with 6 different Health Areas (department-level authority of the Ministry of Health) for a total of 23 clinic sites in Alta Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Suchitepéquez, Totonicapán, Quetzaltenango (highlands and coast), and Huehuetenango. We are evaluating the possibility of an additional 3 clinic sites in Sololá, though the situation around COVID-19 in that department is a bit more difficult for now.  We are also finalizing the purchase of new equipment (including two vehicles) and supplies so that we may have the capacity to operate this way, with smaller teams distributed throughout the country, for at least the rest of the year. 

Also in July, WINGS will begin hosting Vasectomy clinics every Friday in our Antigua clinic.  Due to the high risk of COVID-19 contamination, we will not be able to offer tubal ligations, therefore we will heavily promote FREE VASECTOMY CLINICS each Friday. Beginning in Antigua, we will evaluate a way to replicate this in the coming months in more locations (Guatemala City, Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleu, Chimaltenango, Escuintla, and others).

In August, once (we hope) the curve begins to flatten, we will begin hosting small-scale pop-up clinics.  These clinics will be staffed by one or two nurses and, where transport is required, a driver.  The most critical part here will not be our own willingness or capacity to offer services in rural areas, but whether local leaders will allow us to come into their communities.  Our Field Promotion team will soon begin conversations with Municipal Women’s Offices so that they can help us get “invited” back into communities by local authorities.  We are quite aware of the different dynamics and politics that take place in rural communities, oftentimes not in sync with government mandates, and so we will do our very best to comply with their rules as a way to safeguard our staff.  The last thing we want to be considered is a source of contagion and be kicked out, or worse.       

Finally, some of you may be wondering how we will be able to promote and schedule all these different services.  WINGS Field Promotion team has begun experimenting with new ways to communicate with communities and partners.  One way is through virtual talks and presentations. Another is through radio spots, which we have begun recording in Spanish and some Mayan languages represented within our diverse staff.  Some of these spots will differ from the traditional 30-second commercial spots and will be podcast-style interviews.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of excitement, but also anxiety and nervousness.  The Executive Team at WINGS has been talking about this with some frequency lately, and we are taking steps to work with our staff on these emotional issues as well.  I am sure that tense moments await us, but if we remain observant, if we communicate in the most truthful and transparent way possible, I know we will thrive.  As long as our WHY remains our northern star, WINGS will be a better, stronger institution, and will be able to provide even better reproductive health services and education to many more vulnerable women, men, and adolescents.

Please keep us in your thoughts in the weeks and months to come.  As we begin reopening we will happily receive all the positive energy and vibes we can get. And as always, thank you for your support!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
WINGS 2019 Service Provision Results
WINGS 2019 Service Provision Results

WINGS experienced strategic growth in 2019 that is the beginning of incredible momentum as we aim to have a greater geographic and programmatic reach across Guatemala. In June 2019, we expanded into the Western Highlands where we now have a third mobile unit team that serves the departments of Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos. Providing services in remote areas of Guatemala allows us to fulfill our mission and to serve individuals who might otherwise have no access whatsoever to contraception.

We also solidified relationships with national health facilities based on the agreement that we signed with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, which has allowed us to coordinate our services with the Ministry to serve communities with high unmet need by working directly with Ministry facilities. By partnering with local health posts and national hospitals, we assure that the communities we serve have both sufficient contraceptive inventory AND highly-trained medical providers to see patients.

Programmatically, we continued to focus on the provision of rights-based, patient-centered reproductive health education and services. The success of the LARCs First methodology (wherein contraceptive choices are explained in the order of their effectiveness) allowed us to realize a 41% increase in the number of adolescent patients using a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). Our Youth-Friendly Space in Antigua had the busiest year yet and our monthly vasectomy clinics in Antigua grew in popularity.

Throughout the year, WINGS served a total of 24,450 individuals with contraceptive services and reproductive health education. 

All of these results would not be possible without the generous support of individuals like you form around the globe who believe, as we do, that IT ALL BEGINS WITH RPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS.

¡Mil gracias!

WINGS 2019 Impact
WINGS 2019 Impact
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

In Guatemala, we have a tradition of "Muñecas Quitapenas" or Worry Dolls. According to folklore, if you have a worry, you whisper it to your Worry Doll, put her under your pillow at bedtime and in the morning she will have taken that worry away and you'll be worry-free! You can learn more about these powerful muñecas by visiting https://guate-maya.com/munecas-quitapenas-worry-dolls-what-they-are-and-how-to-find-them/.

In July 2019, WINGS undertook a geographical expansion into the Western Highlands of Guatemala, with the help of generous funders who understood the need for increased services in this hard-to-reach area. After working for the past few months in the departments of Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos, we are even more convinced of how important WINGS' services are there.

In September of this year, we saw 34 year-old Mónica Luisa at one of our tubal ligation clinics in San Marcos. At her young age, she already had 7 children and had been using quarterly birth control shots as her form of contraception. We hear this situation from many of our patients: they know they don't want more children, but it is difficult to get to a facility to get a tubal ligation or vasectomy, let alone pay for the procedure.

WINGS saw Mónica Luisa and 11 other women at the San Marcos clinic day - a great turnout as a new service provider in the area! Because of our funding, and our partnership with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, we offered those 12 women a permanent solution for their constant worry of another pregnancy...for free.

Stories like Mónica Luisa's remind us that while we are energized by the work we do, there is so much needWith your support, WINGS has the power to take away a huge worry for so many people - moms who are worried about getting pregnant again, teens who are worried about an unintended pregnancy, families who are worried about feeding one more child.

We are so grateful for your support as we endeavor to be the most powerful Muñeca Quitapenas for our patients that we can possibly be. ¡Gracias!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

One of WINGS’ longest-standing programs is our network of more than 30 Volunteer Health Promoters: community leaders identified within underserved rural areas to be a local point of service. Through their intimate linguistic and cultural knowledge of the communities they serve, they are able to provide quality contraceptive counseling, low-cost short-acting methods, and referrals to WINGS medical clinics for additional services.

Hilda Siquic is one of our star volunteer health promoters from the northern department of Alta Verapaz. We interviewed her recently about her perspectives on her work with WINGS. Here’s what she told us.

“I am 25 years old and I have no children. It is not something common in my environment. 

I wanted to be part of WINGS to be able to inform my community. In Alta Verapaz, women have many children, and most of them are because they do not know about the existence of effective methods to control their pregnancies. In my community, Yapelmech (Raxruhá), many women have 7 to 10 children. As a Volunteer Promoter with WINGS, I provide women with short-acting reversible contraception. Now we have to educate men, because they don’t want women to plan with long-acting reversible contraceptives since they believe that incites them to infidelity. 

When I started with WINGS I thought that family planning talks would not be welcomed since my community is very religious and church priests are against contraception, but it was the opposite. The women are really relieved to know that they can have the children they want at such an affordable cost.” 

Women like Hilda are helping to change the daily realities of so many communities in Guatemala by bravely talking about the subject of reproductive health with their families, friends, and neighbors. Your continued support of WINGS and Hilda means so much to us as we provide reproductive health education and services in Guatemala. ¡Gracias!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

2019 marks WINGS’ 18th year. We are growing in important and strategic ways, always aiming to reach the unreachable with reproductive health education and services.

The most significant growth is a geographic expansion via a new third mobile unit to the Western Highlands including Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos. We have secured funding, hired local staff, and trained this new team to begin providing WINGS’ services in three new departments beginning July 1. We are leveraging a recently signed MOU with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health that will allow us easier access to national hospitals with whom we partner to perform tubal ligations and vasectomies. 

Another meaningful partnership that we continue to grow is with APEVIHS (Asociación para la Prevención y Estudio del VIH/Sida), an organization working in the southwest region of Guatemala, focused on malnutrition, prevention, and screening of HIV, along with wrap-around community services. WINGS’ agreement with APEVIHS allows WINGS to have a clinic space within their offices and to accompany their community health workers when they go into the field to offer community-based services. We are excited to learn from APEVIHS staff and explore how to best integrate HIV-related services into our work.

In June, our Executive Director Rodrigo Barillas along with the President of our Board of Directors, Holly Myers, attended the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver. In addition to being inspired by the workshops and networking, they were able to share WINGS’ work on an international stage, continuing to build our reputation as a leader in the provision of rights-based, patient-centered care.

Finally, our Medical Director, Dr. Michelle Dubón, was chosen to be a part of the 2019 class of Aspen New Voices Fellows. These 25 leaders from the Global South work on the frontlines of global development and health. For more info, check out their website. Last week, Michelle participated in the “Aspen Global Innovators Group at Aspen Ideas: Health” gathering in Aspen, Colorado where she learned new tools and gained even more expertise to help us improve how we communicate about our work in rural Guatemala. (She also got to meet Dr. Ruth Westheimer!)

We are so proud of all the new opportunities we are experiencing right now and cannot wait to see what the rest of 2019 brings! Your continued support and trust mean so much to us as we provide reproductive health education and services in Guatemala. ¡Gracias!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

WINGS

Location: Antigua, Sacatepequez - Guatemala
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @WINGSGUATEMALA
Project Leader:
Kirsten Taylor
Development Director
Antigua, Guatemala
$62,005 raised of $80,000 goal
 
1,143 donations
$17,995 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

WINGS has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.