Why choose to support Adelante Mujer when there are so many places in the world where people are displaced from their homes by war; where hunger is common; where basic needs like clean water, health care, and shelter are unavailable? We all have limited resources and want to help others less fortunate. How do we choose when we cannot help everyone?
Many of our students are from an area in Nicaragua along the Rio Coco ‘Coconut River’ called Waspam. Bordering on Honduras along Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast, it is a 4-5 hour drive to Puerto Cabezas.
As I sit here in the Managua Airport awaiting my flight from the balmy tropics of Nicaragua to the freezing blasts of another Wisconsin winter, I have time to reflect on our recent interviews with our current students from medical school in Puerto Cabezas as well as the candidates, young women who, despite living in one of the most impoverished regions in the world, refuse to give up on their dream of bringing medical help to those who, like themselves, have had to survive with little or nothing.
Sister Diane made the semi-annual trip to Puerto Cabezas/Bilwi in early May 2017. The schedule is always full on these visits, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and often not ending until 8:00 p.m. While there she meets with our contacts at the university and visits the hospital where she often runs into our graduates. She meets with our local administrator and handles our banking needs. The most important meetings though are those with our current students and the interviews with new applicants.
This is Puerto Cabezas/Bilwi as described in The Lonely Planet. “This impoverished Caribbean port town and ethnic melting pot sprawls along the coast and back into the scrubby pines on wide brick streets and red-earth roads, full of people and music, smiles and sideways glances.
We are dedicating this blog to our foundress, Sister Ann McKean. We celebrate her 60th year as a Sister of Saint Agnes on August 15, 2017. Sister Ann’s background includes teaching in colleges, universities, and even a Catholic seminary. She has held the title “senior professor of theology.” Her subjects have included Sacred Scripture, women’s studies, world religions, and anthropology.
People have many reasons for giving. What follows are some facts about giving and some of the comments we have received from our donors:
Daunting are the challenges that a young woman has to face if she wants to become a physician in a culture where some 13-year-olds become mothers, where most children legally end school at age 12, and where the average annual family income is less than $2,000.
I had the opportunity to go to Puerto Cabezas last December and observe first-hand the interview process of our potential new Adelante Mujer doctors. Listening to their stories, I was astounded by their fortitude. Next month I will write more about them individually, but first I want to explain the interview and selection process.
We often write about our new Adelante Mujer doctors and our current medical students. This blog is devoted to donors and future donors. To YOU!