Our new partner community, Villa Verde, has been working tirelessly to improve the health and wellbeing of its members. It’s no easy task, but they are undoubtedly up for the challenge. Villa Verde is the first community in the Dominican Republic with whom Community Empowerment (CE) is working to replicate the success from Peralta, which now manages and executes its own primary health care system. Our decision to partner with Villa Verde was due largely in part to the strength of their leadership and commitment to public health, both of which have been vital to our work together thus far.
To date, 20 community volunteers have been trained and six were named as part of the leadership team that works directly with Community Empowerment and our volunteers. In the beginning, clinic functions and logistics were managed under the supervision of Wendys Filpo, a leader from Peralta; however, during the most recent trip in June, the Villa Verde team was able to coordinate day-to-day responsibilities, including the registration of new patients, clinic and home visit scheduling and communication with community members. Our volunteers are now seeing an average of 600 patients a trip.
The desire to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the community doesn’t stop with medical treatments but includes proactive care as well. Recently, the community leaders, with the support of CE, built a house for the Abad family. The Abads are longstanding pillars of Villa Verde, but their house was in deplorable condition. The walls were made with zinc and metal, which had deteriorated greatly over time, allowing water to enter and compromising the integrity of the structure. It was a safety and health risk for the members of the household. Using new materials, their home was reconstructed so that the family could block heat excess water, and a bathroom to improve sanitation. “We now have more tranquility and dignity,” said Elias, ‘Melaza’ Abad, the father.
As our mission states, our ultimate goal is to connect Villa Verde to the Dominican Republic’s public health system so that our services are no longer needed; however, in the meantime, we will continue to build lasting relationships and provide necessary care.
“On behalf of the team of volunteers, collaborators and the entire Villa Verde Community, I would like to thank you very much for the immense work done and for leaving behind your comfort to become a source of access to health in our community that so needs it. We really appreciate the effort made by each one of the doctors, nurses and all the rest of the team that support us in this community work. We have no way to thank such a generous gesture!” said Pedro Garcia, a member of the community leader team.