VisionTrust has recently implemented the role of Health Development Coordinator, and we are excited to introduce you to a few of our Local Heroes who are making a difference in the health of the children we serve.
India has been serving as a “learning laboratory” for the VisionTrust Global Health Team for four years. When our team first started working there, there was great hesitation to engage some of the communities because of religious persecution and fear for local staff. Through our partnership, health has become an opportunity to bring the love of Jesus to the streets of these communities. Last fall, the India health team worked with one of our programs to do a handwashing parade to celebrate Global Handwashing Day. The parade brought out many interested onlookers, smiles, and comments on how much they learned. I will never forget the comments of our country director: “We were able to bring Jesus out of the church and into the streets through our health education work!”
We could not make these simple but profound strides to secure the health of the children and communities we serve without faithful, committed Local Heroes leading our health efforts.
MEET SHINY AND SHENOLA
Shiny has served as a teacher for a VisionTrust program for several years. Her excellent teaching skills and passion to help more children led her to join the health team. Shiny has introduced hand washing in 21 Learning Centers, and through the Sawyer Water Project she has also introduced clean water to 26 Learning Centers. Shiny is monitoring water, sanitation, hygiene, deworming, and any children with health issues across 30 programs in four states and three languages—not a small responsibility!
Shenola has a passion for the challenges faced by Indian girls as they enter adolescence. She has championed the development of the Young Women’s Club to provide much needed education, hygiene supplies, and a safe place to share questions and concerns. There are currently 88 adolescent girls in 12 Learning Centers engaged in creating a safe and informative place for our young ladies of India to grow up to live for God and love others. Shenola shared, “More than 99% of the girls told me that their moms never cared about this. Their standard answer was, ‘This happens to everyone; go and do your work.’”
Staying healthy is a challenge for children when food is limited, water quality is poor, and life is hard. Thanks to the work of our Health Development Coordinators, we are making an impact not only in addressing illness, but in bringing health to their everyday lives.