NOVEMBER 9, 2018: Thanks to all who came out, on a cold and rainy night in Lancaster, to show their support of OutreachPARAGUAY!! I was a great night! It was our chance to “thank you” for all you have done and share with you our hopes and plans for 2019. It is also our chance to share with you stories of all that is PARAGUAY!!
June 8-22, 2018 Directors of OutreachPARAGUAY, along with Public Health students from Austin College and Medical University of South Carolina, traveled to Paraguay where they engaged in service-learning projects. They also had the opportunity to spend time with local community members and experience life in rural Paraguay. While in Paraguay we were able to further distribute donations shipped throughout the year including:
--donations of clothing and soccer gear to local communities
--donations of medications and medical equipment to a local hospital and rural health posts
--donations of over 1,000 toothbrushes and toothpaste to school age children
---donations of health education materials
We were also able to:
--donate a photocopier and school supplies to a rural school
--equip a mobile health clinic with a dental compressor, EKG machine, nebulizer, 2 pulse oximeters, 2 air conditioners for procedure areas
--donate books to rural school libraries
--repair windows in rural school
We travel to Paraguay once a year but our work is year round thanks to the continued support of friends and community members here at home! Those who travel to Paraguay cover 100% of their own costs.
We are currently recruiting volunteer participants for our June 2018 trip. Please send us a message if you are interested and we will send you trip details.
Our most recent trip took place June 9-22, 2017. We traveled with an incredible group of people, including medical professionals and educators, and we were met by our equally incredible friends, family, and colleagues in Paraguay. So much happened in a very short amount of time. Thanks to many generous friends at home we were able to provide material resources, more than ever before, to our friends in Paraguay. We collaborated with MAP International to bring a supply of many medications and we collaborated with the Reach Out And Read program to bring many, many books and advocate for early childhood literacy in rural areas of Paraguay. We met countless wonderful people along the way that will be forever be remembered and held close in our hearts. Our work continues; we are already gathering supplies for our next shipment to Paraguay.
Our annual trip to Paraguay took place June 9-22, 2016. Thanks to the generous donations we received throughout the year we were able to provide increased support to more vulnerable communities in Paraguay. In the months leading up to the trip we shipped over 1,500 pounds of materials and we took with us an additional 17 pieces of luggage filled with donations.
· Medications used in the treatment of Diabetes and High Blood Pressure (20,000 doses)
· Over-the-counter medications
· Medical supplies and health education materials
· 400+ toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss
· New and gently used clothing
· New and gently used soccer uniforms and soccer gear
· Spanish-language children’s books for school libraries
· School teaching tools
· Painting supplies
· Household items
During our stay in Paraguay, in collaboration with our host-country colleagues, community members, and friends, we were able to:
· paint and repair 6 hospital rooms,
· provide Diabetes and High Blood Pressure Screening and Educational Programs in a Regional Hospital and 3 remote communities, and
· provide school-age educational programs on Dental Hygiene and the Importance of Handwashing.
Our Paraguayan hosts were more than generous with their time and expertise and happily shared with us the riches of their culture and land. We cannot understate the importance and appreciation of the professional, personal, and cultural exchange that took place. Our efforts continue!
What an incredible year it has been, culminating in our June 2015 trip! Once again we are overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity and care of our Paraguayan family and friends!! Thanks to the support we have received over the past year from friends and family and to the support we received from the Drexel University On-Line Nurses and the staff and clinicians from SouthEast Lancaster Health Services we were able to:
- ship over 1,500 pounds of medical and educational materials, new and gently used clothing, soccer gear, painting supplies, household items, and children's books
- repair and paint 2 pediatric units and install air conditioners and heaters in each room
- repair, paint, and decorate 3 classrooms in rural schools
- donate children's books, written in Spanish, to "grow" a rural school library
- donate drawing and art supplies and classroom supplies to rural schools
- donate medications for the treatment of diabetes and hypertension to rural health posts
- provide diabetes and hypertension screening and education to rural communities
Participants and staff learned about healthcare disparities and about the challenges of providing healthcare in a country with limited resources. We learned, in a very personal way, the meaning of "cultural humilty".
This year our group consisted of 24 participants and staff. We had a phenomenal time sharing our love of Paraguay. First-timers to Paraguay were introduced to mbeyu, milanesa, mate, terere, sopa paraguaya, chipa, bori-bori, just to name a few. They participated in a traditional Fiesta de San Juan, traveled to Itaipu and Las Cataratas, explored the capital of Asunción, fell in love with the campo, and enjoyed the music of Paraguay.
It is difficult to capture in words the impact of this experience on both participants and OutreachPARAGUAY staff. As directors, we hope to bring needed and sustainable services to vulnerable communities. We also invite participants and our Paraguayn hosts to sit at the same table, share a meal, a drink, stories, and laughter and learn about each other. We hope the lessons learned from Paraguay travel home and change lives, if only in a small way...
In June 2014 a group of 17, including nursing students from Drexel University and professional staff from SouthEast Lancaster Health Center, along with staff from OutreachPARAGUAY traveled to Paraguay and were able to:
• Provide Diabetes Screening for 200+ community members in rural areas
• Provide Hypertension Screening for 200+ community members in rural areas
• Educate patients, community members, and nursing and medical staff on the management of Diabetes and Hypertension
• Provide Diabetes lectures to Paraguayan university nursing students
Throughout the year, thanks to the donations and support of friends and family, we were able to:
• Donate medical supplies, medicines, and educational materials to local health post facilities and staff
• Donate 800+ pounds of used clothing, shoes, sports gear, and household items
• Donate new and used books and a monetary donation to a rural school library
• Assist a young mother to obtain emergency surgical treatment for a cardiac condition
OutreachPARAGUAY was awarded the 2014 UPCEA Award for Excellence in Partnership along with Drexel University On-Line Nursing Program and Southeast Lancaster Health Services. Plans for Vision 2015 are under way. In 2015 we will continue to focus on Diabetes and Hypertension awareness and management. The financial and personal burden of these chronic illnesses on an individual, community, and country is tremendous, more strikingly in a resource poor country. During our most recent trip in June 2014 we encountered many patients without the means to obtain needed medications, including insulin, glucose test machines or any diagnostic testing. Throughout the year we will continue to ship needed supplies and clothing. Paraguayan community leaders, educators, and nursing and medical staff are working with us to plan for appropriate and sustainable outreach and collaboration.
We are grateful for the friendships we have formed and the generosity of the Paraguayan people. The value of the cultural exchange is beyond measure.
Vision 2015 preparations are well underway and will again focus on Diabetes and Hypertension
Awareness and Management. Stay tuned!
It's been a long time coming and an important step to take!! Convenio de Cooperacion entre el Ministerio de Salud Publica y Bienestar Publica de Paraguay y OutreachPARAGUAY esta firmado!!! A Collaborative agreement between the Ministry of Public Health of Paraguay and OutreachPARAGUAY has been signed!
2014 UPCEA Award for Excellence in Partnership along with Drexel University On-Line Nursing and SouthEast Lancaster Health Services.