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”