Horizons of Friendship
Founded in 1973, Horizons of Friendship has implemented over 1,385 projects with more than 130 organizations in Mesoamerica. The current focus is with 15 partners working on 21 projects that aim to improve the lives of the most impoverished and marginalized in terms of community health, education, food security, migration, violence against women and Indigenous rights.
Grant Program: World Day of Prayer
Year of Grant: 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $5,000
Maternal, Newborn, and Children’s Health: Transforming Indigenous Health in Guatemala
This project aims to reduce maternal-infant mortality and address a pronounced gap in MNCH service for Indigenous families. One key goal was to help ensure that there are no gender gaps in accessing health services. The WDP grant contributed to a 4 year, 13.2 million dollar health overhaul budget that, among other aids, provided micro-nutrient supplements to 34,388 pregnant/post-partum women and 31,844 children.
Health counsel was provided to 30,000 women on breastfeeding, immunization, prenatal and infant care.
Thirty Community Health Commissioners were established to ensure the creation of emergency community response plans.
While the numbers are impressive, sometimes it’s the personal stories that help us understand the impact. Here are highlights of Maria’s health intervention: When 7 months pregnant, in the community of Oxlajuj in the Municipality of Santa Lucia la Reforma, Maria met Health and Nutrition Educator, Lucrecia Castro Tum. Maria had not sought out health care during her pregnancy as she feared repercussions for not having her 4 year old vaccinated. Lucrecia helped Maria conquer her fears, and prenatal health care was started. It was explained, as well, that Maria did not need a husband’s consent to access health care in Guatemala.