New York friends of AHA and EPES – please join us!
AHA and EPES would like to wish you all a happy 2015!
As has happened for the past five years, EPES is jumping right in and starting the year with one of its biggest undertakings – the annual International Training Course in Popular Education in Health. Now in its sixth year, participants are arriving in Santiago this weekend – and will spend the next two weeks immersed in hands-on learning about community-based strategies for health that they can bring back to their own communities near and far. These participants will join the 90 graduates from 15 countries who have already gone forth from the first five trainings to spread the EPES model.
This year, EPES is excited to welcome Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker and public health advocate Lisa Russell as a special guest instructor, who will highlight her film Poder! and discuss how video production can be an exercise in women’s empowerment and involving creative communities in chronicling the fight for dignity and health.
You can read more about the planned course content, the faculty, and experiences of past students here; AHA looks forward to sharing the outcomes of the course in the coming weeks!
EPES Foundation and AHA are pleased to announce the 6th Annual International Training Course on Popular Education in Health!
Sharing 32 Years of Work for Dignity and Justice in Health Course on
Participatory and Community-based Strategies in Health
January 5-16, 2015
Santiago and Concepción, Chile
The 12-day training course is a mix of classes, conferences, participatory workshops and opportunities to work alongside the community health groups trained by EPES. We invite you to learn-by-doing, promoting and advancing the right to health using the popular education strategies put into practice by EPES over its 32 years of community action for health and dignity.
The multi-disciplinary team of EPES health educators will be joined by inspiring guest instructors: Pastor Lisandro Orlov, Founder and coordinator (1986) HIV/AIDS Ecumenical Pastoral Buenos Aires, Argentina; Dr. Marisa Matamala, Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network; former coordinator of the Pan American Health Organization´s Equity, Gender and Health reform program.
This year’s special guest is Lisa Russell, Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and public health advocate. After earning a Master’s degree in Public Health, Lisa turned to documentary film to fight for justice in health. Over more than 10 years, Lisa has produced films, campaigns and projects for United Nation agencies and activist groups.
The course (conducted in Spanish) is designed for undergraduate and graduate public health students and professionals, medical and social science students, educators, community organizers, social workers, women’s studies students, church and global mission workers and activists for social justice and development.
EPES looks forward to bringing together people from around the world interested in this unique opportunity to learn and share.
Read the June 2014 EPES Update (many of you will be receiving the Update in the mail this week – if you’d like to be on AHA’s Mailing List, please let us know by emailing AHABoard@gmail.com!)
As you look forward to summer vacation, it is fall in Chile and EPES’ plate is decidedly brimming over.
EPES’ 5th International Training Course on Popular Health proved that language and culture are not barriers when it comes to the yearning for change. The six women from Kenya and one from Uganda who traveled to Chile in January with the Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW) acquired the tools for applying the EPES model for empowerment in health in their communities.
They also formed bonds of friendship with the Chilean health promoters who traveled the same road years ago. Ever since she participated in the first health education training school in 2010, HFAW director Dr. Grace Mose had dreamed of bringing the EPES methodology to Kenya. As you will see in the inspiring photos of the first training sessions in Kenya, EPES has truly crossed an ocean and a continent.
On April 12th, a fierce fire devastated low-income neighborhoods of the hilly port city of Valparaíso, reducing 3,000 houses to ashes and leaving 12,000 people homeless. On Cerro Las Cañas—the area hardest hit by the blaze—a community center, run by an EPES Popular Health Training course graduate, is one of few buildings left standing, and has become the hub of emergency response activity. Within days, EPES staff was on the scene and determined that the situation called for the post-disaster program pioneered in Concepción in response to the earthquake four years ago. EPES pledged to help improve 300 emergency houses (the government is issuing the same leaky wood-frame dwellings it gave people in Concepción) and set in motion the Comfort for Kids psychosocial program to enable children to overcome trauma, while empowering women as leaders with the capacity to advocate for their rights.
A year after Chile became a smoke-free nation (March 1, 2013), the Inter American Heart Foundation awarded the Chile Libre de Tabaco (Tobacco Free Chile) coalition, spearheaded by EPES, for its exemplary work organizing the lobbying efforts that won passage of the landmark tobacco law. EPES health promoters are keeping track of tobacco law compliance, and at least in Concepción, they were heartened to find 75% compliance. The law represents a major breakthrough for public health of future generations in this country where 40% are smokers.
We hope you enjoy reading details about these and other activities in the enclosed Update. We are so grateful for your continuing support which is an investment in real, concrete change in the lives of so many people and communities.
With Peace and Hope,
Christina Mills, MD FRCPC
President, Action for Health in the Americas
To give to EPES, donate online or send your tax-deductible contribution to:
Action for Health in the Americas
c/o Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
4 Northcrest Drive
Clifton Park, NY 12065-2744
Make checks payable to “Action for Health in the Americas”
All EPES and AHA supporters in the New York City area – please attend AHA-NY’s upcoming House Party/Silent Auction/Chilean Holiday Craft Sale to support EPES!
When: Friday, December 6th, 2013 from 6:30-9:00pm
Where: 280 Riverside Dr. # 15 E, New York City (entrance on 100th St.)
Light snacks, pastries from Los Andes Bakery, and beverages will be served. Silent auction items include a week at cozy homes in Sheffield, MA, the Cape, and London, and beautiful crafts directly from Chile!
Tax-deductible donations to support the work of EPES will be welcome at the event.
More information available here!
Please RSVP to Betsy Grob.
Please share with friends in the NYC region!!!
AHA is excited to share the below press release from EPES highlighting the extraordinary support of AHA Board Member Melanie Nelson and her key role in making the upcoming EPES International Training Course on Popular Education in Health a reality. Thank you Melanie for your support and being a model for the rest of the board and all supporters of EPES!
Press Contact: Isabel Díaz Medina
In March 2011, a delegation of the Action for Health in the Americas (AHA) board of directors spent four days in Santiago and Concepción visiting EPES and seeing the work they are doing. The delegation was made up of Sheila Dauer (New York) Melanie Nelson (Minnesota) Meghan Ochal (Washington, DC) and Dale Young (Miami), who are four of the 11 US-based members of AHA.
The most important part of our short visit (from March 23 to 27t), was the chance to see firsthand the wonderful work of EPES, especially its earthquake/tsunami recovery work, and to make a soul connection with EPES staff and those they work with.
EPES continues to work tirelessly in Santiago with health monitors. At the same time, it works intensively in Concepción with hundreds of families who lost everything in the tsunami that followed the February 2010 earthquake. It was thrilling to meet women who have become leaders in rebuilding their communities and livelihoods. They use EPES’ fundamental philosophy of finding ways to improve the situation through their own knowledge, ideas and efforts. Where they need more information, they are participating in workshops to add techniques and skills to their repertoire of products from the sea. But it was clear to us that full recovery is many years away.
The trip also gave the four of us the opportunity to meet and interact with each other and to spend valuable time with the EPES board and the staffs in Santiago and Concepción. We forged strong bonds that will help us communicate, collaborate and go forward, both within AHA, and between AHA and EPES
Seeing the work for ourselves and brainstorming together has given us plenty of ideas for how AHA can continue to (and increase) its support for EPES over the next few years. Our discussions of immediate options for fundraising and exciting ideas for celebrating the 30th anniversary of EPES in Chile and the U.S. in 2012 have energized us for the future! Stay tuned for more details.