The OPSEU Social Justice Fund Board is proud to partner with Horizons of Friendship to improve maternal and child heath among Indigenous communities of Guatemala. In addition to the Social Justice Fund providing financial support, the OPSEU Indigenous Circle is helping establish links with Indigenous midwives from Canada to foster a cultural exchange that truly reflects international Indigenous solidarity.
The project, “Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health: Reducing Gaps for Indigenous Peoples in Totonicapán, Guatemala” is a new and ambitious multi-year project that will reduce maternal and child mortality in this region. According to Horizons of Friendship`s own projections, this will directly benefit 235,140 Indigenous women, children and men in the Department of Totonicapán, Guatemala, and 8,700 Canadians engaged in public education programming.
This program will address the pronounced gap in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) services for Indigenous families by:
- Improving the delivery and utilization of health services to mothers, pregnant women, newborns and children under two;
- Focusing on training and equipping 1,040 midwives, 50 health promoters, and 8 health clinics;
- Educating pregnant women, mothers, male partners and extended families;
- Increasing the knowledge-base amongst MNCH practitioners;
- Ensuring that a model of care is developed that is comprehensive, culturally respectful and inclusive.
"OPSEU is in a position to facilitate a respectful cultural exchange among Indigenous communities that includes both the financial support and the expertise of our own members," says OPSEU President Smokey Thomas. “This is a project the Social Justice Fund is proud to support because it includes working with those most impacted in a way that is empowering, rather than just giving money and walking away from the systemic causes of poor health,” adds Elizabeth Ha, OPSEU Social Justice Fund Chair.
First group of midwives receiving kits and training manuals.