Customizing trainings to address crucial health and nutritional concerns facing rural communities around Lake Atitlan
Guatemala has the highest rate of chronically malnourished children under 5 in Latin America (49%), and the highest infant mortality rate in Central America. Rising Minds works to alleviate this epidemic by hosting holistic health campaigns that equip families not only with the education to motivate, but also the tools to actively improve their health and prevent the transmission of disease.
Trainings are executed by trained Community Health Educators from the Lake Atitlán area, ensuring cultural understanding by eliminating any potential language barriers. Training themes are identified based on an in-depth community profile compiled by collected data from local clinics, schools and a diverse range of families that identify the deficits and needs specific to that community. Core focus areas include (1) Disease prevention (2) Healthy Eating & Nutrition (3) Pre/postnatal care and child development. Upwards of 20 themes are covered within these core focus areas.
Once a week our community health educators and volunteers provide hands-on, interactive lessons based on nutrition and illness prevention to upwards of 150 children between the ages of 4-14. Complimenting these trainings Rising Minds plants and maintains a school garden where students can learn not only about nutrition but also sustainable gardening techniques such as saving seeds and constructing and caring for a worm compost.
Executed 6 times a year, trainings are delivered by Community Health Educators from the community where the trainings take place. Each training is developed to include a synopsis, replicable hands-on activity & visually-dominant step by step educational handout. The trainings provide a foundation of understanding which help ensure that families understand their deficiencies, what leads to illness, and are also equipped with the tools and resources to tackle them, sustainably.
Executed 3 times a year, our health exposes are community-wide events to facilitate the opportunity for both our ‘family’ and ‘in-school’ training participants to share health care practices and information with the wider community. These health exposes occur in schools where Rising Minds has continuous involvement, including but not limited to a school garden. Each expose includes 10-12 stations in which the community can rotate through and cover health and nutrition trainings which coincide with trainings developed for our ‘family training series’.