Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Spirit of Christmas -- In Honduras

AHMEN – SIFAT Initiative


CUSUNA Community Agents Training Program: Workshop II – Intermedium Level

The program continues at the Cusuna community, the base community to concentrate a group of 52 community agents in leadership development. The Second Workshop of the Intermedium level took place with a number of 45 attendants and 7 of them with justified absences. We plan two more workshops during the months of February and June, with a possible fifth workshop in August in case of uncovered material. We expect to graduate from the Second Year no later than next summer.

We enjoyed special visits from Kathy Bryson, SIFAT’s International Training Coordinator, who

encouraged the agents to continue their involvement in the program and search for new life in the


Sara Mamani of Five Talents

We also took great pride in the presence of special guest instructor Ms. Sara Mamani of the Five Talents Organization in Bolivia. Sara taught an informative, progressive lesson on microfinances over the course of the three day training. The program of Five Talents trains community leaders to organize small groups for savings and credit with monetary contributions of the group members.

Sara with the agents' full attention

As a result of the information and methodology received on microfinances, the agents organized

savings groups by community areas. The groups organized a committee to send information

about the organization process and to report monthly about the saving funds beginning January

2013. (It would be neat for AHMEN teams to follow up on this new development!)

The group was highly motivated by the facilitator who used living testimonies of successful

groups in Bolivia and Guatemala. Living testimony is the “proof of the pudding” for workshops like the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative.

Josue, instructor of the Deaf School, continues attending regularly the training. e is a challenge to the other community agents. His effort and enthusiastic participation is a great motivation to the all group. 

Ms. Sara Mamani and Byron Morales will pursue follow up and future visits to continue with the

strategy on microfinances and the multiplication of the experience among the community agents' home communities. This is an important step for the coming third year of training where the community agents must start their “dissertation” for graduation, the development of a community project related to the different fields of training.

Wilinton, one of the rising starts out of La Moskitia

Goals for the coming months include:

-coordinating with Nahun Flores the visits and follow up to the organization of the saving
groups: December & January.

-continue reporting and communication with Sara Mamani to follow up the organizational process and build a bridge of communication between the agents and Sara

-coordinating next Workshop-III with the Firemen Team from Tocoa to facilitate the subject on
First Aid and Emergencies: Byron & Nahun: February 18-20

-find a new source to support Nahun Flores as chief facilitator and liaison to the
communities: 2013

Edenia, in the center of the picture, nutritional project director in Cusuna, is responsible for part of the logistic (meals) during the workshops. Despite the time she needs for this logistic, she continues attending the workshops and accomplishing the learning goals.

If you think you would like to be a part of something bigger than yourself but you don't know what, consider making a monthly contribution to the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative starting in 2013.  Sponsorship works, and you can be the difference! The three ASI workshops spread throughout Honduras are changing the way communities feel about their position in the world. Please join me in helping Honduran families transform their own situations and those of their fellow citizens. Contact me today!

Together, we are the difference.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Community, Collaboration, and Christmas

My dad is the biggest Christmas movie fan I know. He claims he doesn't commence reviewing his extensive collection until after Thanksgiving, but much like Christmas these days, he really starts well before! 

You haven't watched any Christmas movies yet??
Why are we called to celebrate Christmas for more than just one day? Why has our Christmas culture expanded from just the celebration of Jesus' birth to Santa Claus, tree decoration, gift-giving, caroling, decorating our yards, kissing our sweethearts under the mistletoe, and a general continuation of the Thanksgiving meal?

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=c32d8eb857&view=att&th=13b617830e55a852&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P_E4UzOdb_NznP12_LgA1Iv&sadet=1354549992106&sads=0gjoUBE0I2nnXlvs-JOZBrUx_NIWell, if I had to muse, I would muse that Christmas represents that which is good about the human spirit – community. The Christmas movies my dad likes the most are the ones where families or towns come together in the face of adversity to guide one of their own toward a brighter future. By extension, I think this may be why I love the philosophy behind the AHMEN-SIFATInitiative!

ASI, AHMEN's Community EmpowermentProgram, is a combination of communities. SIFAT (Servants In Faith And Technology) and AHMEN (Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network) represent two communities of volunteers. While SIFAT equips individuals from around the world with the mentality and capacity they need to meet basic human needs, AHMEN teams supplement the medical and educational infrastructure of vulnerable communities only in Hondurans. Together, through a relationship conceived in community, SIFAT has sent its chief Latin American educator to share his skills and set the stage for generational empowerment in Honduras.

Community, Sustainability, Solidarity

When asked recently what his major role was as a facilitator for the long-term success of both SIFAT and AHMEN in Honduras, Byron Morales said “I am here to teach individuals to identify the changes they would like to see in their communities and how to realize those changes.” With SIFAT's Byron Morales working directly with the communities where AHMEN teams work, we are able to maintain the type of ongoing presence in Honduras many of us are called to but are unable to answer for various reasons.  As a result, many of the current focci of AHMEN teams will change.  We AHMENers must build relationships with the Community Agents now being trained in order to see how our roles as missionaries will transform.  After completing the three-year program, Community Agents in Belaire, Cusuna, and Yorito will serve as much stronger, more stable bridges toward the empowered Honduras we envision for future generations.

Honduras is not our native home, but many of us still choose to invest much of our time and money in the communities we have visited there. Our relationships with the Banana Republic may have started small yet, like Christmas, have evolved into something much more significant. Our regular teams to Honduras are needed just as much as ever, but the collaboration we can also offer through ASI is the same sense of community that touches our hearts in movies like “It's a Wonderful Life.”

Luz Maria is a leader among the misquito group attending the workshops. The last day of the workshop she received the news that her little child felt down from a window and broke his leg. The group of agents decided immediately to support her raising money to pay for his trip and the trip she'll have to do with the child to them closest hospital 6 hours from the community. Solidarity is an important attitude developed by the agents and a model to the communities.

Won't you consider setting aside $5-10/month to help 180 Community Agents continue their training? If you already support a project, contact me to learn about how an investment in ASI further informs that project. Make checks out to AHMEN with AHMEN-SIFAT on the “For” line and send to:

Sharon Bowie
516 Ridgeview Dr.
Jasper Al 35504

Stay tuned for the latest report from the Cusuna workshop later this week....!

Together, we are the difference.