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Friday, October 12, 2012

ASI-Yorito Begins!

Sustainability, appropriate technology, long-term development, effective mission work, social justice. These are terms and phrases AHMEN has been coming to embody in the last few years as a result of our  strengthening relationships with UMVIM and SIFAT.


During the summer of 2010 I was blessed with the opportunity to spread word about the coming AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative to several communities in Honduras. I want to say thank you to Dr. Fran Kunda of CHHF for letting me join her team to Limon. I did a lot of “growing up” in Limon, and I am overjoyed that several of my friends there are attending workshops at ASI-Cusuna. I also want to say thank you to both C.D. and Linda Tripp for letting me join their team to an unfamiliar place called Yorito. After only a few days in the mountain community I was overcome by its tremendous social capital. The Cusuna workshop officially began that fall, and now, two years later, the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative of Yorito is also a reality!

Byron Morales at his best

ASI-Yorito is not a reality because of me, however; it is a reality because of the people I met there three years ago. I also want to say thank you to former Peace Corps volunteer Janet Espinosa for leading a group of future community agents to the kickoff workshop in Cusuna in 2010. It was this step that really got the ball rolling for the foundation of Yorito's own workshop. Finally, I want to express gratitude to the “Catracha” who has had the faith and confidence to help make a dream a reality for so many people. Fanny Aviles describes her community's workshop as follows:

Communities in and around Yorito will send their most determined members to train for three years under the direction of SIFAT's Byron Morales. We will master sustainable approaches to social, health, and environmental issues, and we will replicate our training at home. With a clear perception of ourselves as health workers, we will together gain the capacity to become agents of change in our own communities.

55 future community agents prepared to be the change in their communities!

I can only describe the mood surrounding the workshop as elation. In a post on her Facebook page, Fanny made the following announcement:

Amigos!!!!!!!!!!! SOUTHERN INSTITUTE FOR APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY y ALABAMA HONDURAS MEDICAL EDUCATION NETWORK, We present to you the future Integrated Community Health Agents of our own town YORITO....

Janet Espinosa was invited to attend as a special guest, and I hope she continues to play an integral part in the facilitation of the program. Janet's position at the Universidad Nacional de Agricultura in Catacamas and SIFAT's own Kathy Bryson networking there will also solidify connections between local problem-solving and national initiatives. I am delighted by Janet's response regarding the inaugural workshop as “up, up, up with reading, brainstorming, decision making, group activities and lots of learning with an emphasis on vertical instruction meaning participation by all on an equal basis.”

Janet Espinosa leading an English lesson

I see great things happening. I see a web developing which will help AHMEN more easily maneuver between projects all over Honduras.  I see AHMEN becoming more focused and effective.  I see a network developing which truly stands to facilitate the empowerment process throughout local Honduran communities. Through our partnerships, we only enable that process to take effect sooner and more fully. With ASI-Belaire, that web will only grow stronger, and AHMEN's ability to truly transform Honduras through the radical love of Jesus will be more possible than ever before.

Won't you join us today? In my lifetime and yours we can put an end to inequality, sickness, and immobility.  Please contact me about donating to the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative and/or joining an AHMEN team today.

Together, we are the difference.

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