Creating a World Free of Suffering from Preventable Causes: Local Partnerships are Essential to Transforming Communities
Posted: September 11, 2020

Curamericas Global implements community-based programs to reduce infant, child, and maternal mortality. This is achieved by expanding evidence-based interventions and services that provide maternal and newborn care, immunizations, childhood illness management, HIV treatment and prevention, water and sanitation, and Ebola awareness interventions.

For these community-based programs to be successful and make an impact, local partnerships are essential. Since 2008, Curamericas Global has been partners with Ganta United Methodist Hospital, a Liberian nonprofit that provides more than 125,000 Liberians. This collaboration developed a project known as the Nehnwaa Child Survival Project. Nehnwaa is a term in the region’s indigenous language (Mano), which means “protecting children.”

The Nehnwaa Project uses Curamericas Global’s unique Community-Based, Impact-Oriented (CBIO) approach, which has been key to its longevity and impact. This method ensures that every person in the program area is reached with health education and services and that the project addresses the leading causes of death specific to the site.

Curamericas efforts to bringing hope, healing, and education to this area, located in one of the most isolated regions in Liberia, has helped to end suffering from preventable causes. Moreover, through this partnership, two communities have been forever transformed.

Yar Kehkulah is a 40-year-old woman and mother of five children living in Kamapa, a village in Nimba County, Liberia. For a long time, Kamapa and Vongon, a nearby town, lived in harmony as one community. However, things changed five years ago after a violent altercation between a girl from Vongon and a pregnant woman from Kamapa, while both were collecting water.

As a result, the pregnant woman had to be transferred to the Ganta United Methodist Hospital for treatment, and the young girl was arrested. This brought a bitter division between the two communities, and distance became the only thing they had.

The division between both communities came to an end after five years when Yar participated in local health-related educational training called SALT (Support, Stimulate; Appreciate, Analyze; Listen, Learn, and Link; Transfer) and was asked to help select two people to work as local facilitators. Thanks to Yar’s determination and with the support and vision of a local group of community leaders, Curamericas Global and Ganta United Methodist Hospital, both communities participated in the selection process. Two facilitators, one from each village, were selected.

Interestingly, when both of them returned from one of the training sessions, they decided to engage and educate their communities on the importance of SALT and how transformation and opportunities to better their lives were not possible unless both villages were united. Shortly after, they began resolving the differences between the two communities.

Today, and inspired by principles of collaboration, respect, hope, and healing, local leaders and facilitators from Kamapa and Vongon are reunited as one and additional initiatives are undergoing to better understand and address the population’s present needs in both villages.

Through this kind of partnerships, Curamericas Global continues to strengthen the community-based primary health care needs, transforming communities, and saving lives in Nimba County and other remote, almost forgotten, places around the world.

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