ABPD’s integrative program engages communities for a two-year period, utilizing this time to implement intensive, targeted interventions that address chronic childhood malnutrition at the roots of the problem. Program staff and specialists work with community members to build vital sanitation infrastructure, namely community-scale potable water systems and gray water filters and latrines in the homes of each participating family, to improve the health and hygiene of the community. Trainings are carried out and materials provided in a wide range of topics that directly relate to childhood malnutrition. Agriculture workshops, the promotion of family gardens, and the provision of dairy goats work to strengthen food security in our partner communities, build local farmers’ ability to adapt to a changing climate and mitigate risks, and revitalize ancestral sustainable-agricultural practices. ABPD’s nurses facilitate workshops on pre- and post-natal care, proper nutrition, breastfeeding, family planning, and conduct home visits with pregnant women and new mothers to follow up with program participants, answer questions, and monitor progress to ensure that mothers in the community have the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to prevent or manage malnutrition in their children. Workshops geared towards fortifying leadership skills, discussing the rights of women and children, and the value of inclusion and equity aim to support our partners in creating diverse, resilient, capable, and inclusive leadership structures that can help their communities thrive.
These are only a handful of the resources that ABPD brings to the table when partnering with communities in Chimaltenango. The most important resources, though, come from the communities themselves. Community health promoters are women from our partner communities that step up and dedicate time to gaining knowledge and experience in each of the areas that ABPD’s integrative program touches on. By the end of the program cycle these women are prepared to serve as trusted and respected sources of knowledge that community members can turn to for support. Community health promoters are leaders that ensure the success of the work that ABPD began long after the program has come to a close in a given community. This month marks both the end of our participation in some of our partner communities and the beginning of relationships with new communities. We would like to extend our gratitude to all of the community health promoters who are graduating from our program this month along with their respective communities. The hard work they have put in over the past two years will fuel the growth and prosperity of their communities for generations to come. We would also like to welcome our new partners who we will be working with during the coming two years to listen, learn, share, and grow together. We believe that communities should lead the way and we are proud to be able to support our partners grow and flourish!