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Made for Goodness and Compassion

Photo of Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Photo by John Mathew Smith. Licensed under the CCPL

God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion. – Desmond Tutu

With the recent passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on his life and some of the wisdom he shared with the world.  Tutu was a passionate man who believed in the equality of all people and worked for the rights of the oppressed.  He believed everyone deserved a quality education, stating, “It is our moral obligation to give every child the very best education possible.” When Tutu graduated high school in 1950, he wanted to become a doctor and had been accepted into medical school.  However, his parents couldn’t afford the tuition.  He was able to get a scholarship to study education, so was able to go to college. Continue reading “Made for Goodness and Compassion”

A Time of Waiting

Advent is a time of expectant waiting for Christians. During that time, we prepare ourselves for the celebration of Christmas, opening our minds and hearts to the coming of Christ. As Pope Francis stated, “Advent invites us to a commitment to vigilance, looking beyond ourselves, expanding our mind and heart in order to open ourselves up to the needs of people, of brothers and sisters, and to the desire for a new world.”  –  Pope Francis, Angelus, 2018

The women in Adelante Mujer are at a time in their lives where they are doing just that. They are looking beyond themselves and expanding their minds as they study their courses. Continue reading “A Time of Waiting”

Choices

Think about the choices you make each day – what to eat, what to wear, how you will spend your time. Oftentimes, you have multiple options. Here in the United States, most of us have choices between wants, not needs. But in countries like Nicaragua, that is often not the case. Young university women are faced with choices such as, “Do I spend money on a taxi to safely get to my destination or do I walk tonight so that I have enough money for a meal?”  

The students in the Adelante Mujer program do not have to make that decision. Our program offers them funding for transportation to the hospital for on-site training and for a meal when they are on campus. Our program helps relieve some Continue reading “Choices”

The Difference You Make

Nicaragua, a land of natural beauty, has a culturally diverse population, with over 400,000 inhabitants identifying themselves as members of an indigenous or ethnic community.  Many of these indigenous peoples live in the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast.  In this rural area of the country, doctors and hospitals are in short supply, with a patient to doctor ratio of approximately 9,000 to 1.

According to the Pan American Health Organization, “To eliminate health inequities for indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, and members of other ethnic groups, it is essential to promote intercultural approaches. Intercultural health models such as complementary, traditional and integrative medicine (TCIM) contribute to self-determination by promoting self-care, Continue reading “The Difference You Make”

In Their Own Words

In July, we shared that our campaign to raise money for computers was a success.  Our onsite coordinator in Nicaragua wrote, “The girls told me to say thanks for this great help and some of them said that they were going to say thanks personally, they are so happy and thankful.”  Many of the women have written to show their gratitude for the computers, and for ongoing financial support.  We would like to share some of that appreciation in their own words.

“I already received the computer and I want to thank you infinitely for the support that you and together with the Continue reading “In Their Own Words”

Passing the Baton

Throughout my 63 years as a Sister of St. Agnes, I have been blessed to work in various exciting and fulfilling ministries. Without a doubt, roles I played in Adelante Mujer these last seven-plus years were the ultimate definition of exciting and fulfilling! Working with Sister Ann McKean, CSA, PhD, the Foundress of Adelante Mujer, was never boring because her brilliant mind and daily ideas to improve the world were forever expanding. Sister Diane and KarenInteracting with more than one hundred medical students who overcome challenges beyond our comprehension was inspiring. Collaborating with numerous personnel in Nicaragua was a privilege and blessing as was working with our own office staff in Fond du Lac. Continue reading “Passing the Baton”

Happy Students

Thanks to so many people who responded generously to the request for donations to purchase laptops for Adelante Mujer students. During  June, Adelante Mujer was able to provide much needed computers to 27 students! What a blessing. Please take a look at the smiles when Kathy Levy, the Adelante Mujer Coordinator in Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas presented the electronic treasures to medical students who will no longer be forced to study using cell phones they own or borrow. 

          Continue reading “Happy Students”

Where Have All the Doctors Gone?

We can proudly tell you where one of the Adelante Mujer doctors has gone and what she has accomplished. On March 26 a member of the first graduating class of Intercultural Medicine and of Adelante Mujer earned her title as Pediatrician from UNAN University in León, Nicaragua. Her letter below describes her gratitude. Each and every donor can celebrate her success which may not have been possible without your help. 

Hello. I am Joice. I was part of the Adelante Mujer program almost from the beginning and with its support I was able to conclude the Intercultural Medicine career of URACCAN University. I have so much to thank for and I have so many memories of Adelante Mujer.  

 

I still remember the day I arrived at the interview with Sister Ann McKean. I remember that Sister Ann thought I could be her interpreter because my friend Ana, who also was coming to ask for support of Adelante Mujer, told Sister Ann that I could interpret for us. That was a moment that caused us all to laugh. I do know some English but I could not be an interpreter!                 Continue reading “Where Have All the Doctors Gone?”

Sixty-One Doctors and Counting

Several years ago when Sister Ann McKean, CSA, PhD and I were talking with Dr. Manuel Salas about the goals of Adelante Mujer, we asked how many doctors Nicaragua would need. Thirty? Fifty? About how many? His reply was simple. “We will never have enough;  there is such a terrible shortage.”  “All right,” we decided, “Adelante Mujer will continue to provide financial assistance to women medical students for as long as God and our donors help us.”

On March 24, 2021 another glorious success of Adelante Mujer’s mission became a reality. Seven industrious students pronounced the Hippocratic Oath to become devoted physicians.

 

 

 

The Promotion Ceremony begins with the formal introduction of each student and her escort. Here Jenny and her father are announced as they enter the assembly. Continue reading “Sixty-One Doctors and Counting”