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?
These nine remarkable woman graduated from URACCAN University on Feb. 24, 2018. We now have a total of thirty-one doctors who were supported by your donations and are now working as doctors in that region. These doctors received your support, through Adelante Mujer, between one to four years during their studies. All nine have now begun their internships at the local hospital and clinics.
On our bi-annual trip to Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas this past December, we met many medical students who came to apply for our financial assistance. Once again, I am impressed by the caliber of these young women. They are serious, determined, intelligent, and devoted to their goal of helping to heal the sick in their communities.
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.
This is Jurica, one of our student doctors in her 6th year, and this is a translation of what she wrote regarding some of the work she is currently doing in the hospital in Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas.
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.
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.
If you believe in miracles, you will see it is a series of miracles that support the success of Adelante Mujer. And who are the miracle makers?