Exciting News! Our Helpers to the Helpless program is headed in a new, more effective direction. We started our Helpers to the Helpless training in July 2013. Dr. HariBabu’s wife, Ms. Karuna, and our nurse Angelina, from the Sode clinic, were training these young men and women. In this 6 month training course students were taught basic healthcare and preventative education along with daily bible studies and worship. Once training was completed they received a comprehensive first aid kit and medicine bag and returned to their villages to become a “Helper”-both physically and spiritually. In this basic training class, we trained 43 students.
Earlier this year Ms. Karuna and Angelina went to Christian Medical College in Vellore to learn about a similar program they were teaching. This program is called “Community Lay Leaders Health Training” (CLLHT) which is run by the Department of Distance Education and Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs. Over the next several months Ms. Karuna and Angelina went through the certification process for the training class.
In August, several leaders around the community met with NJ at the hospital to listen to the head of CLLHT program from CMC Vellore talk about facilitating their program at Shanti Bhavan Medical Center. The community leaders were very interested in this program and our team decided to host these trainings in place of our Helpers to the Helpless program. We will be training our pastors and evangelists along with other candidates who meet the requirements.
This is a unique opportunity offered by CMC Vellore for pastors and wives, missionaries, and other believers working in remote parts of the country where there are very primitive or no healthcare facilities available. The accessibility of this program at Shanti Bhavan Medical Center is an excellent way for them to get medical training right at their own doorstep. They will have the opportunity to “Be a Change Agent”. This initiative will help them gain confidence and competency to prevent and treat most of the health problems at the village level itself thereby reducing pain and suffering and also the cost of healthcare.
Why the Need for “Change Agents”?
It is our mandate as Christians to reach out to our fellow human beings in their areas of need and thereby demonstrating the love of God to them. Health is one such area of need for millions of people. Each day hundreds of thousands perish due to diseases that can be easily prevented or treated successfully in the early stages.
There are 660,000 villages in India where 73% of Indians live in these villages. 80% of health professionals are found in the cities, not the villages. It is an impossible task to meet this grave mismatch with a handful of health professionals who are willing to work in these remote areas.
The good news is that most diseases don’t need a health professional to prevent them or treat them in the early stages. Looking at the grave health scenario in India, the Christian pastors and missionaries who are already established in these villages can contribute to meet this need easily. If these disciples of Christ are trained to offer culturally acceptable simple health care at the village level, it will help them become acceptable “Change Agents” in the community, not only physically, but spiritually as well.
Community Lay Leaders Health Training Program is a tailor made program designed for equipping committed individuals placed in the neediest areas, with a vision to make a significant difference to the health scenario of India. This six month course is split into three parts: class room learning, practical training in a hospital, field study and practice.
Shanti Bhavan Medical Center is currently hosting their first class of “Change Agents”! This class of 13 students is being taught by Dr. Elizabeth from CMC Vellore with the assistance of Ms. Karuna and Angelina. We are excited about this new direction for our program and the committed support of such an established hospital and staff. We thank you for your continued support to help provide funding for our students to go through this training. The tuition, boarding and lodging fee for the year program is $1500 per student. If you feel led to help support a student during their training, please send a gift today!