A message to Dining for Women members
Diana Bowie, President and Geordan Shannon, Medical Director
We want to portray how powerful this project has become, both for the communities involved and for us as an organization. It has become even more powerful than we realized at the time. The grant from Dining for Women has served as a catalyst for change.
Because of our work, the women – and even the men – of our communities are becoming very involved in their own healthcare; for some of them, this is the first time they have engaged with formal healthcare and taken charge of their own health. They are really excited about this project and it is gaining momentum. Women are engaged in our program and asking good questions. From appearing shy and marginalized, they are now proactive and more empowered.
The project has allowed community members to talk about what is important for them. For the first time, we have opened discussions around sexuality, relationships, and even domestic violence. From our discussions, we have community leaders wanting to form more locally led projects addressing violence against women, women’s health and chronic disease.
We have always spoken about sustainability of our work, through listening to the community’s needs. Now we are able to realize this fully: the community is now interested in taking the lead on their own healthcare and they are asking about doing this for themselves. Beyond this, we have the valuable opportunity to work with the government to incorporate this program into the public system to provide care for all women in Loreto. Our program, serving as a blueprint for action, may extend over the entire district.
By investing in us, you have shown the communities that they have a voice. You have allowed them to dream of a better future and start realizing the change they have wanted to see in their world.