Buena Semilla has developed a support group model that empowers mothers with psychosocial distress in marginalised communities of Guatemala to improve their health and well-being, and look after their children's future. The potential impact of this model could be considerable, not only for maternal and child health, but also for other marginalised groups, such as adolescents and elders. However, Buena Semilla is concerned about becoming victim to funding-driven “pilotitis”. The challenge that Buena Semilla now faces is how best to scale up its work while continuing to actively encourage the participation of local communities and remaining responsive to their needs.
Check out their website for more information: https://buena-semilla.org/
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The Comprehensive Community Mental Health Programme
Public-Private partnership providing community mental health services in Benue State. Led by Philip Ode
Support groups for indigenous women in rural Guatemala. Led by Anne Marie Chomat
The Tree that Jaya Grew: Using Tree of Life in the Rural Indian Himalayas
Jaya* was only 9 years old when I met her. She lived across the path from the house where I was staying, in a village at the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. The village was quiet most of the time – stumpy mud houses with slate roofs, new pillar-box concrete houses painted lollipop colours, bordered by small step farms where wheat, corn and rice were grown in a cycle throughout the year.
An Ember Story
A’s Story - “I have waited twelve years to get this information; I don’t want other mothers to suffer like me.” - These are the words of A, a mother of two sons with intellectual disability and thalassemia living in a village in North Pakistan, where there is low literacy and no mental healthcare or caregiver services available. People have to travel miles to see a doctor, something that they can only afford to do once a year as it costs them a lot of time and money.
Buena Semilla wins Gates Award for Planting Seeds and Nurturing Change
In May 2018, the Gates Foundation announced an initial seed grant to Buena Semilla as part of Grand Challenges Explorations. This $100,000 USD award will allow Buena Semilla to extend their unique approach to women’s psychosocial health and wellbeing to new target populations in indigenous communities of Guatemala.