Thank you again to everyone who donated to GlobeMed at the University of Chicago! Your donation has made you a part of our team in our eyes. As I promised when you first donated, here is a brief update on our progress, the first of many reports you will receive about our work if you continue to find our cause worthy and follow us on GlobalGiving. I hope you do!
GlobeMed at the University of Chicago received the funds we raised on the GlobalGiving site during the Open Challenge nearly one month ago, at the end of January. We proceeded to wire 2,000 USD to our partner, ASPAT-Peru, on February 12. Due to the complications associated with international transactions, our partner has not yet received those funds at the time of this report. Because we are ASPAT's primary means of support, they have not been able to begin significant work on our microbusiness project on the ground in Peru. Instead, we have worked together to use this time to plan out the steps that will be undertaken once the money reaches Peru. This report will provide an overview of the project activities we aim to develop in the immediate future, as well as the basic outline of the project step-by-step until completion.
As I said, GlobeMed at UChicago and ASPAT-PERU have worked together this past couple of months to develop a preliminary project itinerary. Our two organizations officially committed to it on January 14 of this year. As per our argreement, GlobeMed at UChicago is responsible for raising all of the funds necessary to implement the project activities and see the microbusinesses fully financed, which we estimate will require 10,000 USD. We communicate with ASPAT through emails and weekly Skype updates to ensure that all parties can engage in a meaningful dialogue, and express their opinions on the development of the our project.
ASPAT has also been coordinating the details of the procedure for implementing our project with the Regional Health Authority of Callao (where they operate), incorporating the advice of the National Health Strategy for the Prevention and Control of TB into our project guidelines, and reviewing the Competency-based Economies for Formation of Enterprise (CEFE) methodology, whose modules are specifically targeted towards illiterate or semi-illiterate communities. They believe that by using the CEFE method, they will best be able to train persons affected by TB (PATs) to run successful microbusinesses. Once ASPAT has received the funds we sent them earlier in the month, they will begin the first phases of our project: selecting the patients.
PROJECTED SCHEDULE for NEXT THREE MONTHS:
1.1 Briefings will be held in the first month after the intial funding is received. Approximately 40 persons affected by tuberculosis (PATs) will be informed of the details of the microbusiness program, focusing on such details as the length of training time they'd need to be willing to dedicate and the selection criteria that they would have to meet if they hoped to benefit from our program.
1.1 (a) The Selection Criteria:
- Larger Family Size
- Strong Support System
- Current Low Income Level
- History of Reliability as Measured by Compliance to their Treatment Regimens
1.2 After the intial briefings are completed, ASPAT will interview all of the PATs who met the selection criteria, and cull 15 people to attend the seminars and receive the microbusiness training. These interviews should take place in the next three months, and will be elaborated on in our next project report. As of right now, we assume that most, if not all, of the initial 2,000 USD we sent will be needed to complete this initial phase.
GENERAL PROJECTED SCHEDULE:
2.1 and 2.2 Once patients are selected, they will begin to be trained according to the CEFE methodology. Their families will be incorporated into their training, to further improve the patients' support systems. This training will have two modules: one will focus on the development of personal entrepreneurial characteristics and skills, and the second module will be strictly for the development of business management.
3.1 Members of ASPAT will assess the feasibility of implementing the patients' proposed microbusinesses. Start-up loans will be provided to help with the implementation of feasible businesses.
3.2 ASPAT will continue to support the business by providing advertising and technical support to program graduates.
3.3 ASPAT will also provide advice to people affected by TB or their families in improving their business models if necessary. In this phase, the members of ASPAT will be joined by some select students from GlobeMed at UChicago, who will evaluate the efficacy of the program and the probable sustainability of the microbusinesses.
Obviously, this part of our outline is still in its infancy. We do not yet have an exact timeline worked out for these phases. While we project that these steps will require the remainder of our 8,000 USD goal, we do not yet have a specific breakdown of the costs.
Before I wrap up this report, I'd like to share a thank you we received from Roxana, a member of ASPAT and former TB patient, who has been informally teaching some recovering patients how to make jewelry while waiting for funds to arrive.
I’m Roxana, and I’m very happy that I’ve been cured of TB, thanks to ASPAT encouraging me to continue my treatment! I met them when I was at the point of abandoning my regimen. Sometimes I took my medicine, other times, I didn’t bother. They taught me the importance of taking the drugs regularly, to avoid creating resistant bacteria. Through ASPAT, I learned that my situation wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. I met others who were far more badly off than I was. ASPAT gave me the opportunity to overcome my health problems, and supported me as I moved on and learned how to help and support others. Now, I teach patients to make earrings, bracelets, and many other kinds of jewelry! It’s served as a form of therapy for me. Today, I would also like to thank GlobeMed at UChicago for their continued support of us, and for doing everything in their power to help us realize our projects. Thanks!
While Roxana's work is only a small portion of what we hope to be able to provide when we raise the funds to implement a bigger, more enduring microbusiness program, the empowerment she feels at being able to realize and teach her skills is undeniable. With your help, we can create this sense of empowerment in many more patients. As always, we want you to know that we value every contribution we receive, and that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices that you have made to be able to give your hard-earned money to our cause. Your donations have helped us achieve nearly half of our $10,000 goal and helped to alleviate the extreme poverty that is so often the underlying cause of tuberculosis. Please consider telling your family and friends about our project - so that we can continue to improve the lives of people like Roxana!