Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Remember Your ABCs: A(HMEN) B(elieves) in C(ollaboration)

Thirteen years ago when, what would become, the first AHMEN mission team spent a week in Limon, Colon, Honduras, we didn’t hardly know what to make of our experience. Every single one of us felt an overwhelming need to return, and all of us did. After the first day of volunteering in Honduras every member of that team, and I think most teams since, fell into a state of giving that is beyond our own control. In the field, some of us are at peace knowing we are choosing better options for the course of our lives, and others of us get so stark, raving bound and determined to change the structural injustices we see around us that it consumes us.  Hopefully, most of us stand somewhere in the middle.
"Piedra Blanca"
Somewhere in the middle….that is what AHMEN’s Community Empowerment Program, the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative is to the people of Honduras. In mission work, teams usually focus on meeting immediate needs or looking to long-term solutions to maximize lasting impact.  The joint effort in sustainable development and empowerment between AHMEN, SIFAT, and Byron Morales is really the best of both worlds.
ASI - Yorito

You see, not only does AHMEN’s Community Empowerment Program establish a 3-year timetable for local community leaders to attend a series of health promotion and community organization workshops in order to equip communities with the tools they need to identify and resolve local crises on their own, ASI is also meeting the immediate needs of local governments to implement such programs. In ASI-Cusuna, Byron Morales is working closely with MAMUGA, the association of Garifuna municipal representatives, so that ongoing, historical issues are addressed in workshops, and so that program graduates earn legal status as health promoters upon graduation.  Similar things are happening with ASI-Yorito. Upon meeting with Fanny and the other NGO representatives in Yorito this month, Byron was approached by the Secretary of Health with a request for 150 government-trained health promoters to join ASI-Yorito! As ASI-Belaire comes closer to launch, we are sure to get similar news of government and non-governmental collaboration. By building stronger foundations with support from extensive social, political, and economic networks, AHMEN’s Community EmpowermentProgram is daily becoming a more legitimate force for meaningful change throughout Honduras.
Byron and Fanny
AHMEN, Birthing Project USA, CHHF, CHIMES, Cruzada del Evangelica, HondurasWeekly, Limon Aid, Project Honduras, Rotary International, SIFAT, UMVIM, and many other organizations are literally working together to help more Hondurans live better lives.  AHMEN’s Community Empowerment Program, in the words of one AHMEN volunteer,  “is the most significant project to come out of AHMEN in a long time.” As we all work together to encourage the success of ASI, let's remember Newton's 1st law. The AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative is a project set in motion, and in order to keep it in motion, we need your help. I want you to consider doing two things:
  1. Join me in leading a team to build stronger ties with ASI-Cusuna health promoters during 2nd year graduation this fall.
  2. Begin including the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative, AHMEN's Community Empowerment Program, in your regular charitable donation schedule today.
Please join me today in helping ensure the success of our work in Honduras. Contact me today to learn more about what you can do to help.
Together, we are the difference.

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