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Thanksgiving ~ November 2013 Newsletter

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Saving Lives through Healthy Homes

By George Musabandesu

george4Through our work in the community, we at Seeds of Hope have learned that establishing healthy homes can transform and save lives. Our Healthy Home Certification Program was birthed out of our desire to see true transformation and deal with health issues related to water, sanitation, and hygiene in a home setting. The Healthy Home Certification Program enables SoHIP to partner directly with households to develop workable plans that best fit the needs and interests of entire families.

Addressing health issues at a household level will, in time, expand to a community level. The program is currently targeted at our Community Health Promoters (CHPs) because of the vital role they play in health-related community interventions. CHPs were considered first because they are the beacons of hope in their communities. They are the familiar faces carrying and promoting the good news of health.

CHPgroup - CopyThe program’s focus is to develop an action plan that describes what qualifies a healthy home: one that prevents diseases and promotes health. Participants in the program encourage one another to raise the health standards of their homes. SoHIP staff trainers facilitate this by providing guidance in identifying potential health hazards in homes, and by formulating initial steps to eliminate the dangers related to water, sanitation, and hygiene. The Healthy Home program runs for a period of six months, at the end of which SoHIP trainers conduct household visits, and homes that meet the criteria receive Healthy Home Certificates.

The Healthy Home Certification Program has been very successful—we now have 164 people with certified healthy homes! Establishing a healthy home has incredible benefits for entire families, including decreased hospital visits, a heightened sense of peace and security because of the absence of disease in the home, and ample time to engage in activities that foster social and economic welfare, such as starting a small business. We look forward establishing even more healthy homes in the coming year!

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A Season of Reaping

By Kirk Schauer, Founder and International Director

The Thanksgiving season is my favorite time of year, because I feel that focusing on thankfulness is incredibly powerful and is a great catalyst for transformation.

kirkwithCHPMy last trip to Zambia in September was a time of reaping! Each day, I was so full of thankfulness and felt so blessed to see the fruit of many projects that we have worked hard sowing for years. It had been eight months since my last trip, and I was so encouraged to see the staff and the level of ownership they’ve taken in so many different projects. It was amazing to see the Resource Center transformed, and to hear many great testimonies from our work in the communities.

The most amazing experience for me was when I visited a group that Seeds of Hope has been working with in the Mapalo community for over a decade. Everyone in this group of Community Health Promoters was awarded their Healthy Home Certificate. Throughout the years, we’ve struggled to get people to adopt multiple interventions that would truly break the cycle of disease. So, we came up with the idea of rewarding and acknowledging their achievements by helping them to certify their home with all of SoHIP’s interventions. It was a wonderful time of celebration! I was able to address the group, and told them that what they had helped create is now impacting individuals, communities, and nations throughout Africa. We danced, sang, and celebrated their achievements!

While visiting the George compound, I met a woman who had received her Healthy Home Certificate, who was kind enough to show us around. She was so proud of her home, her certificate, and her new knowledge, that she has began encouraging all of her neighbors to establish healthy homes as well! A beacon of hope, this woman is now taking part in transforming not just her home, but also her entire community!

I wish that everyone who has supported Seeds of Hope could see the fruit that I was able to see on my last trip. It’s amazing what sowing a few seeds of hope can do in an entire community. To be witness to the transformation of lives, see hope restored, and hear words of thankfulness, is truly an honor, and something that will forever be in my heart.

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We are thankful for your support

Through our partnership with you, SoHIP has:

~ provided safe water to more than 678,250 Zambians;

~ repaired more than 630 broken water well hand pumps;

~ drilled or overseen the drilling of over 280 boreholes;

~ built and installed more than 7,760 BioSand Filters (household water purification devices);

~ helped rural communities to build 297 latrines in schools and villages;

~ trained more than 44,710 people in participatory hygiene and sanitation classes in 250 villages;

~ trained more than 290 Community Health Promotors (CHP) who have trained more than 19,650 community members;

~ and equipped more than 160 people with increased vocational or agricultural skills.

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