We have some exciting updates to share with you about our Healthy Mothers Program!
Our US based team is headed back to Santiago for a jam packed next week. We will be hosting a celebration ceremony for the women from the communities of Tzanchaj and Chu'ul who just completed our program at the end of 2023. During this time, we will participate in a recognition ceremony, share a healthy meal with the women and their loved ones and hear about what parts of the program were most impactful.
Then we will check in on our newly enrolled Healthy Mothers groups for 2024. In addition to the two groups we typically have each year, we are excited and proud to add two new HM groups from the rural communities on the outskirts of Santiago in ChukMuk and Chacaya. Most women in these communities have not received formal education and our program will help them to learn more about themselves, their heath and how to improve the health of their families. In addition to a weekly educational session, they will also participate in guided exercise program each week.
We would love your help in continuing our work. If you would like to support the work that Mayanza is doing with the mothers, women and children of Santiago, please make a donation today.
Every week our health educators teach a new theme to our Madres Saludables or Healthy Mothers groups and then the women change into their exercise clothes and have time to focus on their physical well weing. But what does this mean to the women? Is it important? Do they value what they are learning? We sat down with the women in a focus group and asked what they think.
Our feedback included:
Positive reinforcement is abundant, particularly on the core goals of the program. The topic areas are of interest to the participants, they recall accurate health and diet content and make requests for further information displaying a desire to build on foundational knowledge provided by the program.
Also, it is clear the participants have forged a strong social bond, feel welcomed and are open to share their experiences and questions in what is considered a safe space.
Notably, incoming participants were focused on diet and cooking questions, whereas graduates had more nuanced, specific health questions (for example, ovarian cysts). This is useful evidence of the growth that occurs during the program.
Exercise is a core asset of the program and the participants have come to enjoy it, feel comfortable wearing exercise clothes and plan for on-going exercise with the group or otherwise.
Significant changes to day-to-day habits include focus on water consumption, balanced diet and reducing sugary drinks. In addition, exercise beyond the normal daily tasks substantially changes among the participants.
Additional feedback includes:
Attitudes among participants also show signs of shifting. Whether it is views about exercise and wearing different clothes, the support of peers and participation in group discussions or the exploration into sensitive health or social topics – the way participants think about themselves, their families and communities evolves as part of the program. It is notable that graduates speak openly that they recognize the need for changes and are actively working toward them.
This is womans empowerment in action! With your help, Mayanza is making changes in the community of Santiago, one woman at a time. Can we ask for your help?
We need to spread the word about the work we do and we need your help. Can you pledge to tell a friend about us?
In addition to paying 5 women a living wage to help deliver our programs, we deliver eggs, vegetables and a protein drink to the women each month. We need your help to continue this important work. Please make a donation today to support our work in Santiago.
Hello from the Team at Mayanza! We have been busy with our two Healthy Mothers Programs. This year, in March, we graduated two groups of women from the communities of Tzanchaj and Panul. We also enrolled two new groups from the communitites of Tzanchaj and Chu'ul. In March, we also collected a needs assessment and program evaluation from the new and graduating groups that will inform our future programs to ensure that the information that we provide is relevant, important and useful to the mothers.
The program enrolls vulnerable women from the school communities that we work with. Each week, the women participate in an education session and exercise class. The topics range from nutrition, hygiene, disease prevention, how to safely exercise, to stress management and women's empowerment. Each month, there is a guest speaker from the local community who showcases health education topics in a culturally competent manner. The women are provided with eggs, vegetables and a nutritious drink to help meet the nutritional needs of their families.
We appreciate all the help that you have given Mayanza in the past, and please know that we rely on donations from people like you to support our work. Please consider making an extra mid-year donation to help the mothers of Santiago learn more about health to improve the health of their community.
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