“Buds of Hope” for a Healthier Future

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Photo by UuD

In the Mentawai language, Sinula Karonanta means “buds of hope”. This is what the village of Laggai Sibau named their community health post when they first partnered with SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health Programme.

The Buds of Hope health post faced some early challenges with the healthy behaviours learned through SurfAid. With a little guidance, the village of Laggai Sibau came to understand the importance of the community health post and health education by the end of the programme. Yet, despite the community’s newfound skills, they were still apprehensive when the time came to handover Buds of Hope to the village.

“I’m worried that no one will come to the community health post anymore and that the community health volunteers will lose motivation,” Ibu Imsaria, head of the community health volunteers, expressed to SurfAid staff.

Despite her concerns, SurfAid staff had confidence in their community partners and knew they were ready to run independently. It has now been a year since SurfAid’s MCH Programme was handed over to the village of Laggai Sibau. We are thrilled to report the Sinula Karonanta community health post is going strong! All health post activities are being carried out regularly, the building is clean and well-maintained, and health records are kept neatly. The community health volunteers take turns facilitating health education sessions for mothers of young children. For supplementary feeding and cooking classes, the mothers contribute veggies from their gardens and eggs from their small-scale chicken farms. The attendance rate of mothers and children under five continues to be 75%, which is remarkable considering that a community health post did not exist when the Programme first started.

Community health posts are integral to SurfAid’s effort to ensure access to basic healthcare, and these centres are buds of hope; they save lives. And because SurfAid’s programmes take place over a number of years, we are able to be there for our partner communities, even when they doubt their own abilities. We build their capacity and confidence to achieve better health and wellbeing for the long-term.

Photo by UuD

Ibu Imsaria was happy to report, “Our community health post activities still continue just like when they were assisted by SurfAid staff. Health volunteers are still working together and helping each other. Our husbands help us to maintain the building when something needs to be fixed or replaced. We are very grateful for SurfAid’s help in improving our community’s health.”

The development of the Sinula Karonanta community health post exemplifies the sustainability of SurfAid’s ‘hand up, not hand out’ approach, and truly embodies its name: Buds of Hope for a healthier future.

Photo by Uud