By Moonyeen King
President of the Board for Tepehua
As rain birds sing in Chapala...the first storms for rainy season arrived.
It rained heavily in Tepehua, the new Maternity Clinic of Tepehua stood secure.
From breaking ground in September 2015 until end of April 2016, the building slowly rose from the playground of the Community Center of Tepehua....built by donations from the private sector, and the build out and equipment by donations from Rotary International. Spearheaded by the Ajijic Rotary Club.
Tepehua has four Rotarian’s on the board of Directors...and many others in the North actively working for the benefit of this Indigenous show case that has changed the lives of so many.
The purpose of this building is to change the way Mexico looks at Rural Women’s health...especially during and after pregnancy. It will be a pilot program for local clinics to take initiative without Government aid.
Primarily it will be for prenatal and postnatal care, but the laboratory will be there for the needs of the whole family. Hopefully next month will see the laboratory fitted with required machines. Especially sonogram...to catch problems early, lowering Maternal Mortality rate for all barrios Lake-side. There is a plan yet to be finalized to make this Maternal health Program sustainable. It has to be. It is too important to rely on donations alone.
The Pathway out of poverty is education. Please support it and send a child to school.
It does take a ‘village to raise a child’. The next semester is around the corner... and we have a waiting list of worthy young people trying to further their education...also those from lower grades who need help with uniforms and books.
The Dental unit, the busiest, is doing well...but they need material assistance. We have three chairs...only one works, so we need a donation to get the chairs in working order, and attached to water supply etc.
This is a good time to say how much we appreciate our doctors and nurses....volunteering their valuable time with idealism. A good time to salute all our volunteers, without whom the improbable would not become possible.
In November a group of 24 Doctors of varying specialties, will visit from Canada, to observe what the maternal Health Clinic does, to take their skills to other villages apart from Tepehua. An incredible tribute to humanitarians the world over.
Our bazaar, jewelry making and sewing center are sustainable, making money for women, who have learnt micro-business as well as micro-saving. They sell their goods at local markets and small stores that accept their work on commission.
Counseling on many subjects take place several times a week...a good program that shares problems and builds support programs. We have more to add... especially on addictive behavior. As our Councillors are volunteers, they are sustainable programs, it costs nothing to have group meetings.
Support for the centers overheads will always be needed, its very nature of helping people help themselves will not allow it to be self sustaining. As with the Friday Social Brunch, which feeds over 200 women and children, financial donations for food will always be needed. This is an extremely important part of the structure of the center, it brings women together, they share their problems and their joy, and form their own support groups.
The Habitat Tepehua program...which helps very poor patch up their shacks in the dry season, to keep out leaks of rainy season, which causes so much congestive problems in infants and toddlers... who sleep in damp beds and clothing. When those concrete homes get so wet, even in sunshine the walls weep as they attempt to dry out.
This year some twenty homes got the help they needed. Many thanks to all who donated. This too is a non-sustainable program.
We have started a new approach to diseases carried by the mosquito...we are trying prevention by collecting mosquito nets...especially for pregnant women and infants.
In Africa they had a very successful drive against malaria simply by supplying nets, we can do this to. Your help on that would be appreciated. As most families have the communal bed where parent and babies sleep...one King size net per family would at least help.
In closing, I would like to thank everyone for the support given. This is an incredible program and has grown so rapidly out of need. It is pushed ahead with the help of the people themselves...they have claimed it as their own, and therein lay success. The acceptance and shared responsibilities.
Hope everyone has a very good summer, and thank you for making a difference.