A Home Away From Home
I’ve been in Huancayo, Peru for only about two weeks now, and yet, I already feel very welcome and at home here. The staff at CMMB Peru made me feel like family immediately.
The amount of dedication and time that this team dedicates to improving health conditions for mothers and children in Huancayo, leaves such an impression on me.
While in Peru, I am assisting with the initial part of a project started between CMMB and St. Catherine University. The project explores how women become promotores or community health agents, how their involvement as promotores affects their lives, and how their work is changing cultural beliefs on gender equality in Peru.
I have had several opportunities to shadow several of the promotoras working within the five sectors served in Huancayo.
Many of the promotoras I have met, observed, and talked with often reflect on becoming promotores in order to expand their understanding about the effects of anemia in children and pregnant mothers, and how they can help reduce anemia in their communities.
Promotoras often receive little support from their partners or families when they first decide to become community health agents. The tenacity and strength of these promotoras, who are mothers themselves, is inspiring. Their commitment to helping mothers who face similar situations at home seems to have no limits.
I have been able to witness the close relationships that promotoras have developed with the mothers they support. What is also incredible is the number of promotoras who express how their experience has personally challenged them and changed them for the better. There are so many things I will take back with me from Peru — One of them being the strength and fortitude of the many mothers CMMB works alongside who want to use what they’ve learned to support other mothers.