Why El Salvador? Fifteen years after civil war a congregation in Minnesota (St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran) partnered with GHM to help one community of civil war refugees become pro-active in dealing with their own needs. Today their community-based “Village Health Development Program” has become a model across the nation!
It all started as an outreach ministry of a cluster of small village-based Lutheran congregations. Training of a volunteer village health leader begins with a two-day first aid workshop building skills in health assessment, wound care and bandaging, assisting choking victims and CPR. Most trainees cannot read or write, so concepts are taught through demonstration and practice. Regular gatherings take place after training is completed to review and to celebrate their experiences, discuss problems and learn new subjects. GHM continues to partner with the dynamic work the Lutherans in El Salvador are doing! Learn more about El Salvador.
First aid kits are sent by GHM to El Salvador for use by village health workers who have completed their training in basic first aid. GHM’s Suitcase Ministry regularly provides additional kits and supplies as the program continues to grow.
The Village Health and Development program of the Lutheran Church in El Salvador has completed plans for expanded training of village health workers in the five regions of the country where the Lutheran Church is present. 250 people across many villages have been trained to date. GHM is exploring ways to expand this model of community-based health promotion into other Central American countries where improving community health is a priority of the Church.