The AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative's Byron Morales continues to live and work in Honduras, and he had a busy February. Read below to learn about his ongoing development work in Honduras with AHMEN.
ALABAMA-HONDURAS MEDICAL EDUCATIONAL NETWORK
By: Byron Morales
ASI Initiative Coordinator
During February our initiative has concentrated on follow up with medicine donations, follow up to building relationships with Union Biblica about potential partnership with AHMEN and the organization and execution of the Jutiapa Workshop.
New projections are being proposed this month to AHMEN and the continuation of community work after ending the training in Jutipa.
- MEDICINE PROVISION: MAP INTERNATIONAL – CONSEDE
After distributing all the initial donations we continue with the MAP-CONSEDE-ASI coordination to get more medicines especially for Cusuna and La Musquitia. We have confidence in our partnership with Lucia Caceres, CONSEDE representative, that we can obtain more donations for the Rio Team coming to La Musquitia next June to use as part of a community development training.
- EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
Last month we reported about the interest of Union Biblica Honduras (SCRIPTUTE UNION) to partner with AHMEN in sharing their educational materials to train teachers from the communities where AHMEN and the and Community Agents have presence. This month we met with the National Director, Orlando Japas, to design a strategy of cooperation to submit it to the AHMEN Executive Committee and explore ways of shared impact with this partnership.
Another subject with Union Biblica is an interest in involving the young Community Agent graduates and those currently in the training program to be trained by Union Biblica and Tear Fund support in Total Mission. This would be especially beneficial for those involved in youth ministries in churches. They provide the training and three days in one of their huge campus in Siguatepeque for only $10 per participant. We are preparing a proposal for AHMEN Executive Committee to consider if this could be a focus after we finished the current training community agents program.
- COMMUNITY AGENTS WORKSHOP: JUTIAPA
On February 23-26, the first workshop for the Advanced Level was held in the Clinic of Jutiapa with the support of the Mayor's Office and Dr. Noe Guardado.
After some intensive weeks of follow up to the Community Agents in their communities in coordination with the Mayor's assistant and the new Coordinator, Ms. Saby Jimenez, and against one of the strongest storms of the year, we had 35 of 45 agents attend the workshop.
Because of the extraordinary storm these days, it was very difficult for the Agents to arrive, and some of them could not cross the creeks coming to Jutiapa. The Municipality has agreed with the ASI initiative to develop a 1-day supplemental workshop to update the 10 Agents who could not come.
I want to extend a special thanks to the continued work of Sonia Barahona, one of our best volunteers. We also had the presence of the firemen and police officers who were available and on alert in the case of evacuation of families from communities under flood risk. Jutiapa police officers also joined us to support the subject of how "the law" responds to child sexual abuse prevention.
This was one of the subjects developed during the workshop. It was dynamic presentations were each attendant shared several hard personal and community experiences.
Sonia Barahona, one of the most active agents, shared her experience using her house as a refugee for abused and abandoned girls from the communities. She has been treated by abusers but her courage and the support of the policemen is saving and protecting lives.
Since the sexual abuse is a crime penalized and processed by legal actions, we counted with the support of the local police headquarter. Agent Mejia shared several real cases from the most violent to the basic situations of potential abuse and risk. The Community Agents learned how to handle denounce and how to be in contact directly with the police station. Now every agent has the direct cell phone number for a rapid answer and support from the police. This is taken as a way to make safe spaces in the communities beginning with networking against abusers.
Officer Miglan Soto, Unit Boss of the Firemen, presenting some cases they have had also to face in his job. The same way as we trained the gents in Yorito and are now part of the Immediate Emergency and Disaster Response, we plan to have the training with Mr. Soto and his team.
A second subject developed during the workshops was about cre of the Pregnancy woman, delivery and the new born
With the volunteer contribution of Drs. Melvin and Ana Pacheco, the Agents had some of the most real cases, video, information and all the basic for caring the pregnancy woman and support of deliver and transfer of cases in the communities to the Hospital and Clinics.
PICTURE: Drs. Melvin and Ana Pacheco, some of the most highly committed physicians and community workers
Another important actor coordinating with the ASI initiative is the Youths Network funded but the Municipality. Some of them are registered community agents in training with us and attended the workshop.
Kenya is one of the most active young women in violence prevention and designing alternatives for the youths in the communities to avoid involving in gangs, one of the main structural rpblems in Honduras.
PICTURE: Kenya Cedillo (red shirt), secretary of the Jutiapa Youths Network from the Municipality
PICTURE: Youths from the YOUTHS NETWORKING, active attendants to the ASI workshops.
Among the participants we also counted with a famous woman in the communities known as Gigi, Ms. Juana Celestina Arzu (picture: right side). She is an agent protecting women’s rights who came to encourage the agents to continue serving and working for the rights of women and children in Honduras. Her presence was just inspirational.
Finally, we counted with the committed support of the new coordinator, Saby Jimenez, she is the new delegated by the Mayor to coordinate all the logistic preparation and the organization of next activities, follow up and workshops.