Community Health and Development Program
Many underserved communities have infrastructure issues that lead to extensive public health problems. If not properly addressed, these problems go on to affect a larger population. Oftentimes, community members are not aware of these issues nor the magnitude to which such issues impact their daily lives.
Sometimes, community members realize these issues but do not have the means to justify their observations, especially when the issues are more than meets the eye. In order allow individuals to address issues within their respective community,
While we plan to partner with larger institutions in order to carry out our community development work, Puente is attempting to establish its own group of volunteers. The purpose of this program is to teach local youth leaders the importance of sustainable, community development, while building local capacity.“Puentic@s” is a Puente initiative that consists of 27 youth in the city of Constanza. These leaders were identified as leaders within their communities by local neighborhood associations and schools. Puente has met with aforementioned leaders several times in order to explain our Sustainable Community Development Program and their roles as Future Development Practitioners. “Puentic@s” will have the same opportunity to solicit development projects as Community Development Practitioners.
We hope to become a model for building local capacity, especially in regards to sustainable development practices.
Sex Education Workshop
Puente has been collecting data in Constanza for the past several months to identify meaningful trends and inform future survey questions. Upon conducting said interviews, we found that there is a large percentage of people concerned with the growing rate of HIV/AIDs in Constanza. When asked, 73% of interviewees said that HIV/AIDs is a prevalent issue in their respective community. In addition, 58% of the people said that sexually transmitted infections are one of the city of Constanza’s largest problems. Research conducted by the local hospital backed the residents’ concerns, showing that, annually, the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in Constanza has increased three-fold over the last five years.
In order to combat this troubling statistic, we worked with local leaders to find a sustainable solution. After having experienced past success working with the Ministry of Education to implement health education programming we concluded that working with the local schools and their faculty was the best option in terms of sustainability and outreach. The ministry of education in Constanza and Puente decided to implement Deportes Para La Vida—an interactive sexual education course—in 13 of the local schools.
This January (2018), we successfully executed this three-day workshop, graduating 32 new promoters from 13 elementary schools in the municipal of Constanza. Certified trainers with Grassroots Soccer, came and taught a three-day workshop to one physical education teacher and one psychologist from each school.