Project Launch: 8-10-16
In the community of Villanueva, rural isolation and traditional gender norms mean that women have limited opportunities to interface with health networks and exercise decision-making, increasing their risk of STDs, pregnancy complications, and other problems. The prevalence of domestic violence is elevated in the area and women are often unaware of their options. This project proposes the creation of a supportive, integrated set of activities (gardening, exercise classes, nutrition training) that will allow women to make choices and educate themselves about their health while also developing their sense of agency in their community. The project also calls for the implementation of transitional activities for new mothers when they leave birthing homes and reintegrate into domestic life.
Final Report: 5-19-17
The project was incredibly successful in creating an attractive and educational space for the community. There are more women attending the center than ever before and many women are returning with their infants to spend time at the center. Additionally, the center has been praised by the Ministry of Health and local non-profit organizations that wish to invite other maternity center directors from the department to see the improvements. The center is now being used more frequently as a space for educational trainings with community members and health staff on topics from nutrition to natural medicine. Also, outside non-profit organizations from Nicaragua and internationally have decided to support further work at the center by donating fortified rice and wanting to support projects building eco-stoves for midwives and community health workers who supported the project in their rural communities. Another major success is the confidence that work will continue at the center once the funding has ended. There are two new clean cook technologies at the center and a huge gardening space to be enjoyed. Also, there are currently training sessions already planned to take place at the center in the upcoming months!
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