Health Even the smallest initiative makes a difference!
– I believe that our input, although very limited, worked out so well because of Yennenga´s project philosophy. Since the ambition is to make every single section of a society function together, everyone can contribute in a meaningful way. Whatever your profession, whatever your business, there is room for every initiative!
When Eva Åberg summarizes her 10 day training course in Burkina Faso in a filmed interview with Röda Korset’s Folk High School, she comes back to the specific conditions on site. She even suspects that it would have been difficult to succeed elsewhere but in Nakamtenga people welcome new ideas.
– They were curious and open, they saw the entirety, how all elements within the project relates. You can really make a difference here – in a very concrete way. Eva is a professional masseuse who did her own training at Axelsons Institute. She learnt from Stina Berge that the local project coordinator Pauline Conde had launched an idea to offer massage to visitors at the guest centre, e.g. people staying longer as consultants or trainees. Eventually, Axelsons financed the training course on site including the necessary equipment.
The Dr Denis Mukwege Center in Nakamtenga is based on Nobel laureate Dr Denis Mukwege’s vision of improved health for women – thereby also good health for the whole family. Introducing massage at the clinic is labeled as a women’s programme, not least focusing on the maternity ward and on babies. Massage not only brings general wellness but can reduce pain and teach patients to better look after themselves. Furthermore, it is regarded as a tool to strengthen relations between mothers and newborns, as well as between patients and health workers.
But Eva found that men were just as interested. When one elderly gentleman, who is a real veteran in the project, asked for help with his sore back, “I helped him of course”.
After this initial training, the ambition is to spread the knowledge within the clinic and hopefully add specific courses in e.g. massage for sports and babies and in the school, etc…. Nakamtenga since long has a ”daddies' group” and here the men can learn how massage can help their wives to alleviate pain and tiredness during pregnancy.
– I do hope more people and their workplaces in Sweden will dare to make this effort. Not only are you being useful, this is rewarding for your company and staff – and it is real fun!