Saturday, May 22, 2010

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Brief report to update CHE

The last week of April, I completed training with 3 men that will help me do community awareness and training. Our first assignment was to visit a community call Fontina. There is a church, from Canada, that wants to partner with that community in doing school clinic and primary health care. We have taken two visits to Fontina to do community assessment. There is good potential there for development and community health training. The church is the center of community. Population is about 3000 people and covers over 5 square miles. The area school is run by the local Wesleyan church partnering with Compassion International and has 257 students. There is no clinic in the area and the hospital it over an hour away so preventative medicine is greatly needed. They already have a community counsel, this coupled with the fact that they seem to be a motivated farming community, causes us to believe that we could have good success starting our program here. One of the first problems is that they have two wells that have good water but both hand pumps are broken. Deep Water Wesleyan church is interested in fixing them but we must first establish local ownership of the wells and develop a way to collect funds for future repair. The soil is good in this valley and there is real potential for Ag business /micro-enterprise.

We also have traveled west down the coast via speed boat to find access to the village docks. We are looking for easy and affordable ways to get medical teams to coastal villages to the west. We plan to go east to look for access to docks and do some community assessments within the next week.

Tuesday we are going to a community meeting for the Saline Church to explore CHE on the Saline. One possible project is "back yard" raised gardens. One of the problems on the Saline is that you get high tides and standing water after rains that is brackish or salty. So by creating raised beds on a base of rocks we can keep the salty water out. There are lots of plastic bottles around that we will collect and cut in half and lay out flat on the rocks. Then we will overlap them creating a semi permeable barrier to hold soil and moisture. Topsoil will then be put on top and seeds or plants planted. We will the cover with a palm branch shelter for those plants that need shade. There is also need for health education and micro enterprise. Of course all of the projects are to be community lead.

Pray for us this week as we present to the Saline community and also to Fontina the vision of Community Health Evangelism. We need them to see this as a community lead project and not some rich outsider who is going to feed everyone and make everyone happy. This is the first requirement for us to begin work in these areas. Also, on Saturday we have 30-40 people coming to a CHE training on Soil and Composting. I’m not an export on this but I’m the teacher so pray that I will have wisdom and the ability to present this information in a way that will make it easy to understand and embrace.

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