NEWS and EVENTS FEBRUARY 2011

AMC Events
+Executive Director Transition
+AMC Assembly
AMC Projects
+Four new projects in RAAN and RAAS
Visits to AMC
+Church World Service
+Living Waters for the World
+Witness for Peace
+Horizont3000
AMC International Participation
+Communication for Change, Norway
AMC Volunteers
+Joel Somerville
AMC Testimony
"You Gave Me To Eat" - Heydi Zúñiga

AMC Events

Accion Medica Cristiana held a special service in celebration of the transition of Executive Director

On January 28, 2011, Dr. Francisco Gutierrez concluded his 9-year tenure as Executive Director and had handed over leadership of AMC to Dr. Teresa Bobadilla, founder of the organization in 1984 and AMC Administrator for more than 15 years. The ceremony was attended by AMC staff, members and volunteers, as well as many partner agencies who enable AMC's work. The reflection was offered by Rev. Manual Morales, (photo,left) who nine years ago gave Dr. Gutierrez an egg as a symbol to remember to care for AMC by holding it, but not too hard lest it break. This time Rev. Morales gave Dr. Bobadilla a small house, as a reminder to keep order and harmony in balance as she leads the organization. Dr. Gutiérrez (photo, bottom left) was also recognized for his contribution to the mission and vision of AMC. The event included cultural contributions by Eliza Picado, one of Nicaragua's rare operatic singers, and folkloric dance by members of the Tepenahualt troupe (photo, below left), and concluded with dinner. Over 120 people attended. Additional photos below

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AMC Assembly
 AMC’s Assembly met (photos, left) on January 22 to continue the process of reforming the institution's by-laws. The 30 people gathered have been working for several months to revise AMC’s constitution and update necessary articles.

 

 

 

 

AMC Projects

 

AMC implements and manages an average of 25 projects per year with different partner agencies. Starting in January, 2011, four new projects are underway:

1) "Human Capacity Development for Healthcare in the Northern Autonomous Atlantic Region of Nicaragua", a three-year project financed by the European Union and Horizont3000 (Austria)
2) "Strengthening Capacity among Youth and Adolescents in Chinandega and the the Northern Autonomous Atlantic Region of Nicaragua, Giving Value to their Sexual and Reproductive Rights", a three-year project financed by the European Union and Horizont3000 with partners Bilwi Clinic, GVC (Italy) and AMC.
3) "Improvement of Primary Healthcare and Articulation among Institutional and Community Networks in the Kukra River Territory, Southern Autonomous Atlantic Region (RAAS), Nicaragua", a two-year project financed by AECID - Farmacéuticos Mundi (Spain)

4) "Fostering Multilevel Preparation and Resilience in the Biosphere Reserve, Northern Autonomous Atlantic Region (RAAN), Nicaragua", a one-year project financed by the European Union and Intermon Oxfam (IO), the latter partnering with Centro Humboldt (Bonanza territory) and AMC (Waspam, Coco River)

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Visits to AMC:

 

AMC hosted in January the following visits:

Church World Service (CWS - US) – a team of 9 people led by CWS representatives Don Tatlock (photo, left) visited AMC’s Model Farms for Teaching on the Coco River. CWS offers support for the development of the Model Farms. The team traveled with AMC Coco River Project Manager José Dolores Lechado to some of the most remote areas of the Northern Autonomous Atlantic Region (RAAN) to see the Model Farms, which are run by AMC agronomy staff, and meet with local farmers whose lives are being transformed through sustainable agriculture. To appreciate the conditions and remoteness of the geographic areas where AMC accompanies the poorest of the poor, read more about the adventurous journey that the team took to be able to see first hand the impact of this important AMC strategy of Food Security and Nutrition.

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Living Waters for the World (US)

Three representatives of this Presbyterian Church USA Synod came in January for three days of dialogues to further the implementation of a network of Nicaraguan organizations that help install LWW Clean Water Filtration Systems (photo, left). AMC employee Juan Gabriel Velasquez (photo, below left), a mechanical engineer, has been named as LWW Facilitator, and will work under AMC’s leadership to promote the installation and sustainability of LWW systems. Learn more about how US church mission groups can be involved in this exciting ministry at www.livingwatersfortheworld.org

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Witness For Peace (US)

A health team of 16 people representing Witness for Peace worked with AMC’s Matagalpa Field Team to offer medical care and mental health assessment and support for four days in several communities: Coyolar, La Pita, El Granadillo, and Nueva Jerusalen, the third sustainable farm that AMC facilitates in their Food Security strategy. Over 500 consultations were offered with medicines and health education. And Joel Somerville (see volunteers, below) joined the team to offer eye health services.

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Horizont3000 (Austrian Agency for Cooperationand Development)

Staff from Horizont3000's Nicaraguan and Austrian offices made a visit of accompaniment to AMC Alamikamba and Rosita on January 24-25 in support of projects that this AMC partner agency finances. 

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AMC International Participation

Communication for Change Cultural Exchange with Norwegian Church Aid

During February, Dr. Belinda Forbes, Missionary of the United Methodist Church supporting international relations at AMC, will travel to Norway to participate in a partners meeting of the cultural exchange program Communication for Change (CfC), sponsored by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA). Four 2010/2011 participants - 2 Norwegians and 2 Nicaraguans (photo, left with Norwegian Consul to Nicaragua) - are currently in Norway with 20 other youth from Norway and Kenya, Philippines, Brazil and Madagascar to fulfill the objectives of the CfC program which include an information tour to share about this year's theme of Economic Justice and fundraising for NCA during their Lenten Campaign.

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AMC Volunteers:

 

Joel Somerville - Latin Link Volunteer with AMC

Joel Somerville, an optometrist from the UK and placed with AMC through Latin Link is in AMC Matagalpa (La Dalia) until the end of March offering services in ocular health. Joel worked with the Witness for Peace team last month, examining patients and fitting glasses, and there is great excitement about his contribution to help AMC’s expand their community health work in La Dalia with education and training AMC staff in the importance of eye health.

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Church World Service visit to Coco River - continued from Visits

How did they get there? First the team departed by plane for the hour and a half flight from Managua to Puerto Cabezas, the municipal and regional seat in the RAAN. From there they traveled overland toward the East, crossing the Wawa River on a hand-pulled ferry to get to the village of Nazareth where one of the Model Farms is located. They met with AMC staff and traveled by foot to meet two partner farmers and see their plots. The team headed out again by land for 5 hours to get to Leymus, Coco River where they boarded a small outboard boat and traveled 3 ½ hours to Waspuk. The next leg of the trip required a smaller dugout canoe, or bató, to take the team half an hour more to Yahuk where they then walked along a footpath for an hour, using rope to repel up and down the muddy slope to access the local farmer’s house. Upon returning to the river, the next ride took them to Waspuk Ta where they boarded the outboard boat that took them to San Carlos to spend the night and then back down the river for 4 hours to Waspam where they got their fight back to Managua.

We share this adventurous route to help readers understand the difficult access for community members. Transportation is both costly and inaccessible in many cases, making AMC’s work all the more important to reach people in need of support that can help them move to sustainable living.

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AMC Testimony

"You Gave Me To Eat"

Heydi Zuniga is Miskito woman and a founding member and partner of AMC’s model farm “Nazareth” in Tasba Pri, the remote region where Hurricane Felix ravaged the landscape in 2007. She is a single mother and has her own parcel of land. Zuniga shares, “I like the way Accion Medica Cristiana (AMC) works because they are always with us. The farming technicians visit our land to see if we are putting into practice the tools and planning techniques that they facilitate to us.”

She explains further, “At the start of each training we have a time for spiritual reflection and I think this fills me and is what makes AMC different from other organizations that have wanted to work with us.” Zuniga thinks that by calling themselves Christian, AMC works with love, responsibility and commitment.

In the trainings she learned theory and practice about not burning, planting and not cutting too many trees. In her yard she had nothing planted; now she has orange trees, melon, other tropical fruits and vegetables like cucumber, cabbage, peppers and tomatoes. “And in my field I have rice, corn, beans and other crops. I am surprised by how much production I have had, thanks to the implementation of planting techniques,” adds Zuniga.

AMC’s model farms are a part of the food and nutritional security strategy that complements other strategies in community health and disaster prevention.
Zuniga goes on to say that AMC’s goal is for farming partners to diversify their crops and put into practice new knowledge. She adds, “There is no difference between men and women at the moment of doing work, and when the harvests are shared, there is equality.”

To support these initiatives for empowering local people and bearing witness to God’s love in the world, give securely to AMC through The Advance or visit the Donate page

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Photos AMC Director Transition - continued
Guests attend the ceremony for AMC's transition of Executive Directoruests attend 

 

Dr. Teresa Bobadilla and family

 

 

Guests included AMC staff from as far as the Upper Coco River