Peace Care Blog

Better. Together.

Peace Care Update – Spring 2015

Miriama Toure Diarra

We have been honored to work alongside Miriama Toure Diarra, the lead Midwife for the Saraya District in Senegal since 2011. She has been a dear friend and proven extraordinarily instrumental to our collaborative work. We are indebted to her for all of the incredible support she has provided for our collective work over the years.

We are heartbroken to inform our friends that we have lost Miriama along with four of her colleagues in a tragic automobile crash on March 21, 2015. Those deceased include Mariama Toure Diarra (Saraya, Senegal Midwife, Family Planning Programs Manager), Dr. Fall (Dentist), Elody Manga (RN, Child Health Programs Manager), Amady Diop (Social Worker, HIV Programs Manager), and Toumany Sidibe (Chauffeur).

Miriama sent us her profile responses as we have published just one week prior to her death. Her words illustrate the profound dedication possessed by her and all of her colleagues Saraya, in Kedougou, as well as in many other low-resource areas around the world where the challenge to provide high quality care to many communities with few available personnel is met with grace and devotion. On the day of this tragic event, these selfless individuals were giving up a weekend day to travel to a village on the periphery of their coverage area to provide care for those rarely able to access services.

We are heartbroken, but we are not broken. Just as these individuals, living many hours from their families, devoted their lives to the uphill battle of providing care and improving access for the communities in rural Senegal, many continue the work after them, confronting each day with courage and hope. We are grateful for the example set by Miriama, Dr. Fall, Elody, Amady, and Toumany. The challenge is now ours, collectively – to carry on the compassionate care and dedication that Mariama exemplified as we search for health equity in Saraya, Kedougou, and beyond.

Miriama’s quote provides the guidance and the hope to carry on.

“To live is to be in a state of wholeness, whereby giving yourself to others, you find peace within yourself.”

Our New Digs

We are thrilled about our new website. Please take a look around. Many, many thanks to Christine Mortensen at Sprk’d Content Marketing and Design, who designed the site and Zernyu Chou, who has helped us extensively on the back end. In addition, the whole team (Cole, Garret, Tracy, Ken, Lyssa, Marielle, Chris, and Jim)  at 50,000ft for all of their help with identity and branding! We are looking sharp y’all!  Many thanks!!!

Senegal Fund Drive

We are proud to announce that we are undertaking our largest fund drive ever in the very near future. We would love to have your support. We are seeking a team of people to help us reach a large audience through a crowd sourcing fund drive. We are proud to have a very successful record of fundraising through this model. Three of our most successful fund drives have been 10 day All-or-Nothing events in which we raised $10,000, $10,000 and $12,500! This event will take the same approach but we are aiming for $60,000 in 30 days! We have planned this fund drive for over 8 months and we are excited to launch it soon. Many thanks to Sima Shah and Michael Swaine for their incredible efforts. Our past success has hinged on our engagement of a very wide audience. If you would like to help us in this effort, you can sign up here to be a part of our team. As a team member we simply ask that you help us spread the word. No more, no less. We have very clear messaging already prepared. All you’ll need to do is help us pass along the information.  You can take a look at our Fund Drive Headquarters to see what this is all about. Please consider signing up for our team. We know you always wanted to be a Peace Care Volunteer!  This is your chance!

If we meet our goal, we will be able to build on our success in Senegal. With personnel trained throughout the Kedougou region in cervical cancer prevention, we will aim to build capacity in the neighboring region of Sedhiou. We will be able to immediately train 35 health workers and by two years at least 115 health workers will be trained in the region. We anticipate that after 5 years this new service will have provided screenings for cervical cancer to 22,000 women. That equals $2.73 per screening. We are pretty proud of this potential impact and we would love for you to be a part of it! Check out our Fund Drive Headquarters and sign up for our team here. Thanks!!!

Assembly of Partners

Given our past successes, we are looking forward to an upcoming gathering of the primary stakeholders of our approach. The purpose of this Assembly is to convene potential partners for the purpose of further refining our collaborative approach to

  1. Improve community access to quality primary health care services in low resource settings and
  2. Innovate in the arena of global health education through a multidisciplinary approach to health systems strengthening.

We are proud to host a conversation over the course of two sessions where we will bring together existing stakeholders in an innovative way that creates a synergistic relationship, to leverage the strengths of each, and add value and efficiency to existing efforts.

We are welcoming the contribution, views, and perspectives of the following stakeholders:

  • Representatives at the community and health system level (involved in the Senegal Partnership pilot)
  • U.S. Peace Corps (in particular the Peace Corps Masters International Program (PCMI)),
  • Rotary (by way of the local chapters),
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (including the PCMI program at the School of Public Health, the Institute of Health Policy and Research, and the Center for Global Health) and other institutional representatives of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health,
  • The Chicago Area Peace Corps Association, and
  • Peace Care (a Chicago-based nonprofit organization).

We will keep you informed of the outcome of these meetings, of which the objectives include developing milestones for scaling this model of partnership.

 

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