A huge thanks from everyone at GlobeMed at Cornell and CEPAIPA for helping us reach our goal of $4000 from 50 unique donors to win the Global Giving Challenge. It is because of your support that we are able to remain on the Global Giving site and provide continuous funding for CEPAIPA’s Rapid HIV Testing Lab. We would like to extend our gratitude and tell you a little more about the organization whose programs you are helping to support.
A Brief History of CEPAIPA
CEPAIPA was founded in 2004 by Dr. Alexandra Tamayo, as an initiative to provide basic health care to a wider population in the area surrounding La Libertad, Ecuador. Prior to 2004, only the students in the area had access to healthcare, which was facilitated by just one doctor. Dr. Alexandra aspired to have more general and specialist doctors accessible to all people in La Libertad. Her initiative would engage high school students by providing them with training as peer health educators, which would enable the organization to have a broader impact.
Since then, CEPAIPA has had over 2100 students and community members working for the organization, including five Peace Corps Volunteers. Students who have served at CEPAIPA go on to become lawyers, engineers, doctors and public sector leaders and cite the leadership skills they learned at CEPAIPA to be crucial to their success. Some even return to CEPAIPA to continue to provide their expertise in any way they can.
From 2005 to 2007 CEPAIPA was able to receive sufficient funding from the Ecuadorian government and Plan International to begin building their laboratory clinic. However, these funds were soon exhausted and the lab’s equipment has since been used up or become outdated. The donations received from the Global Giving campaign will be used to get the lab and clinic up and running again. Upon completion it will, once again, be able to provide basic diagnostic tests including rapid HIV tests.
We are very excited to begin working closely with CEPAIPA on this project and to see its impact on the people of La Libertad. We hope to begin working on the project within the next couple of months. In the meantime, CEPAIPA continues to do incredible work in La Libertad. Just recently they were able to send 4 students out to the most remote areas surrounding La Libertad, where lice and parasites are common among children in overcrowded schoolhouses. Within just one week, the 4 students were able to reach over 1,000 children with a basic hygiene program that taught children ages five to eight good health practices and distributed anti-lice and anti-parasitic products.
In May, CEPAIPA reached out to the local community with a two-part workshop targeted toward high school students. Part One focused on topics including making healthy decisions and planning for the future. Part Two’s theme was how making smart decisions regarding their sexual health, including waiting to have children, directly impacts their future goals. The workshops included motivational speakers, psychologists, OB/GYNs and general doctors who provided guidance to the attendees. Since the workshops were met with an overwhelmingly positive response, with twice as many predicted attendees, CEPAIPA is currently planning 4 more in nearby communities.
We thank you again for your generous support, and we hope you stay tuned for progress on the project and more on CEPAIPA’s work in La Libertad! In addition to receiving our newsletters, you can stay updated by liking CEPAIPA’s, and GlobeMed at Cornell’s Facebook pages.