Educate, Empower, Protect: A Deeper Dive Into the Women’s Programs of Samaritan’s Purse

As we near the home stretch of the 3rd Annual #HealthITChicks Holiday Giving Campaign, I reached out to Samaritan’s Purse Community Health Advisor Cindy Uttley to gain a better understanding of the women’s programs our campaign funds will go towards.

What type of programs for women does Samaritan’s Purse manage throughout the year?
Samaritan’s Purse oversees programs to benefit women in Bolivia, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Iraq, Liberia, Myanmar, Niger, South Sudan, Uganda, Vietnam and the Philippines. Samaritan’s Purse does not have a “one size fits all” approach. Instead, we want to help and support women in their specific areas of need. Whether it is providing literacy training to a small group of Ebola widows in Liberia, or helping thousands of young mothers learn about nutrition and health promotion, Samaritan’s Purse is committed to reaching the most vulnerable with the light of the Gospel.

Below are specific examples of how Samaritan’s Purse is helping vulnerable women around the world:

  • Last year, Samaritan’s Purse engaged in anti-trafficking and safe migration projects in Asia. Through these programs, women were provided livelihoods training to diminish their need to migrate and educate them on how to migrate safely should they still desire to do so.
  • In Africa and the Caribbean, Samaritan’s Purse reached more than 3,000 women with nutrition-sensitive agriculture and livelihoods training, providing them with the practical means to not only feed their families, but also to allocate resources for expenses such as school fees and medical care.
  • Samaritan’s Purse has more than 8,000 support groups around the world for young mothers in which they receive training on nutrition and health promotion for themselves and their families.
  • We continue to expand our efforts to reach women who have experienced gender-based violence, with over 500 women receiving trauma related counseling last year.
  • In 2016, Samaritan’s Purse worked through community leaders, including pastors, to educate more than 7,000 men on women’s health issues.
  • Samaritan’s Purse continues to promote safe childbirth through facility-based birth and training of skilled birth attendants. For example, in Cambodia, we have built several Maternity Waiting Homes, which provide access to safe childbirth for women living in remote areas. Women may come with a family member to these homes in advance of their expected due date with the confidence that they will have access to the necessary healthcare should complications arise.
  • Women are included in our Water, Sanitation and Hygiene projects around the world. This includes participation in local water committees, which serve to protect the integrity of water sources. Also, young women in limited-resource settings benefit from our menstrual hygiene management trainings, which impact adolescent girls in their school settings as well as homes.

How will Samaritan’s Purse use the funds raised by campaigns like ours?
Through such projects that focus on maternal child health, vocational training, and Bible-based literacy classes, Samaritan’s Purse is helping vulnerable women and telling them about the eternal hope and dignity found in Jesus Christ.

How will the organization address women’s issues in the coming year?
In 2018, Samaritan’s Purse will continue to use a variety of proven approaches previously mentioned. One exciting new proposal we are pursuing is in Nepal. We hope to connect women with debilitating pelvic organ prolapse with corrective treatment, counseling and support. This is a prime example of responding to the existing and often unique needs that women face.

How can the #healthITchicks community continue to engage with Samaritan’s Purse and its programs for women throughout the year?
Samaritan’s Purse has a variety of avenues to follow our work. The website is updated regularly and often features stories about women impacted by our work. My favorite way is to check out the photo blogs, which often feature our varied women’s projects. You can also follow Samaritan’s Purse on social media to learn more about our work around the world.

Thanks to Cindy and her Samaritan’s Purse co-workers for working year round to educate, empower and protect women around the world. Please consider donating to the 3rd Annual #HealthITChicks Holiday Giving Campaign today!

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