We often talk about the six years the women in Adelante Mujer spend in the Intercultural Medicine program at URACCAN University. These women work hard, often beginning their studies in a language that is not native to them. (Women from the remote areas of Nicaragua often speak Miskito or Rama, or another indigenous language. Those who do, will learn Spanish when they start at the university.) These women, most coming right from secondary school, begin studying physiology, anatomy, Continue reading “A Long Road”
Last week, Adelante Mujer’s Board of Directors met. The group meets three times a year to review, discuss, and plan the organization’s activities.
Front row from left are Mary Gorske, Sr. Doris Klein, Joan Schilke, Paula Elmer, Dr. Ann Schlaefer (outgoing). Back row from left are board president Barb Senn, Sarah Endicott DNP, RN, executive director Karen Heuberger, Rita Thomas, past executive director Sr. Diane Bauknecht, Dr. Gina Everson. Absent Jane Monahan.
In late July, the students at URACCAN University started a new semester. Seven of those students are new members of Adelante Mujer. All seven are second-year students in the Intercultural Medicine program. They range in age from 17 to 23, and all have hopes to specialize in different areas of medicine, from obstetrics and gynecology to neurosurgery.
Yaritza, Nora, Elena, Verónica, Ashly, Adjanny, Shaimara
The women were very grateful to learn of their acceptance into the program. Here is a message from one of the students. “Thank you very much. I can’t find words to thank you for this great support that you gave me. I will always give my best at all times, thank you very much and blessings.”
Welcome to Yaritza, Nora, Elena, Verónica, Ashly, Adjanny, and Shaimara! May God bless you, your studies, and the people you will serve.
~~ Karen, September 2022 ~~
Dear Friends of Adelante Mujer,
Over the past eight years, I have had the graced opportunity to assist in the mission of Adelante Mujer as a member of the Board of Directors.
When Sister Ann McKean, CSA, asked me to be part of the board, I hesitated a bit to begin yet another task in another country. However, Ann cheerfully allowed me all the time I needed to make a decision to commit to the mission for Nicaraguan women. After some months, I responded affirmatively because of CSA’s longtime commitment to Nicaragua in the services of education and health care. I did not just commit to Ann’s call but to an inner sense of my own life of ministry to the poor whether in Continue reading “A Note from our Outgoing President”
Though in the US the COVID pandemic is starting to take a back seat to other world events, it is still very real and current for many. It not only impacts individuals and communities through illness, but through economic setbacks as well.
Natasha Mudhar, founder of the social impact organization The World We Want, reports that “Women and girls have absorbed the brunt of the crisis, with the pandemic’s economic impact serving as just one example. Across South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, a majority of women work in the informal economy (jobs that are not taxed, monitored or protected by governments), which was the first to be affected by layoffs and pay cuts.” 1 Continue reading “Standing Strong Through the Pandemic”
Passion is a feeling that tells you: this is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way.
– Wayne Dyer
Passion is a simple word that holds so much meaning. Passion involves intense emotion and persevering at something no matter what obstacles come your way. The women of Adelante Mujer are women of passion.
We are currently assessing applicants for the program for next semester. As we read their applications and talk with them during the interview process, we get a strong sense of their passion for becoming a doctor. When asked why she wants to be a doctor, one applicant shared, “My desire to be a doctor arises from the needs of all the inhabitants of my beloved Caribbean coast, for all those people who live in distant communities where there is no good medical care, where doctors who understand, and understand their illnesses from their worldview, are needed. My wish is to reach all of them by providing the help they deserve.” Continue reading “What Are You Passionate About?”
This month I want to share my feelings and tell a story, a story of sacrifice, of learning, of friendship, and life lessons: a story that began 13 years ago. I decided to study medicine to relieve the pain of the most afflicted because medicine is a career in which we are at the service of our neighbor as well as our own advancement and self-improvement. Deep inside my soul had been planted the seed of a vocation for medicine. I did not choose medicine, it chose me. I knew I had all the qualities to be a good doctor.
I entered the Intercultural Medicine Program at URACCAN University when it first began in 2009. I could not afford even the mínimum program fees and had to charge them. During my second year I was stressed about how I would ever be able to follow my dream to become a doctor. It was then that I first met Sister Ann McKean, CSA at the convent in Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua and I told her my problem. That ángel of mine went to the university and paid my fees and when she brought the receipt to my home, I cried. That was how I became the first Adelante Mujer student and that was the beginning of my beautiful relationship with Sister Ann Continue reading “My Soul Friend, Sister Ann”
On February 18, Adelante Mujer students took the Hippocratic Oath along with their peers at their URACCAN University promotion ceremony. Ms. Kathy Levy Wilson, onsite coordinator for Adelante Mujer, spoke at the ceremony, reminding the women that while they have been inspired by others, they are to go on to be an inspiration. We congratulate Adelante Mujer Doctors Dominga, Nerey, Junieth, Damaris, Slilma, Slilma, Xochilt, and Gloria, and all those who took the oath.
Until December 2019, the director(s) of Adelante Mujer would travel to Nicaragua two times each year. While there, they would interview prospective students, meet with current students, and meet with the on-site coordinator. If the timing was right, they would even attend a promotion ceremony. All of these events are great ways to get to know the women in our program. Then COVID hit.
Pandemic. Unprecedented. Social distancing. PPE. Quarantine. Virtual. New normal. Since early 2020, these words and phrases have taken on new significance. The world has changed. We have changed. Our ways of connecting have changed. International travel has decreased by 73%, and until recently, in-person meetings were nearly non-existent.
So how does a small international nonprofit make it work? Through Zoom, of course! Through Zoom meetings, we are able to stay in regular contact with our on-site coordinator. We can discuss the needs of the women, changes at the university, events that impact the people of Nicaragua. We also interview our prospective students over Zoom. The students at URACCAN often don’t have a computer, and some don’t even have phones. But for those determined to find a way to stay in school and who learn about Adelante Mujer, they overcome the barriers.
Last semester, we interviewed four students, all using their phones. One had to find a spot to interview between her activities. Another had to go to a relative’s house to borrow a phone for the interview. All four interviewed well. We are only waiting for their grades from last semester to determine eligibility. The new semester starts soon, so please pray for Michayska, Jheymi, Josneira, and Arlen. They may be the next Adelante Mujer students!
~~~ Karen, February 2022 ~~~