Read the second edition of this special series! For this article we interviewed Aura Rivera, Health Promoter in the community of Tapasle.
How old were you when you started to participate in community service activities and why did you decide to join?
Aura: “I was 20 years old. I remember my parents were part of the health committee at the time and I was interested in the work they were doing alongside other people and how they organized things for the community. During their meetings, they constantly mentioned the community needed to work towards the protection of our children and pregnant women. That is something that stuck in my head and has motivated me since then.”
How did your community look like before AMOS partnered with you in terms of community organization, health, and education?
Aura: “It was really different. There was a government health unit in Ocotal and we had to walk for 3 hours just to get there and receive medical attention. Moms walked for hours carrying their young children on their arms if they wanted them to get vaccinated. It was the same for pregnant women who needed their prenatal check-ups. There was no vehicle that could take us or bring us back from the health unit.”
“We worked with another organization before AMOS, and that brought some changes to the health conditions of the community. However, we still had great necessities. The stock of medicine was limited, committee members didn’t have the commitment to visit pregnant moms. And, we weren’t as organized as we are today.”
How long have you been serving as a Health Promoter?
Aura: “I’ve been serving as a Health Promoter for almost 2 years.”
Now that you serve as a Health Promoter, what brings you joy?
Aura: “There are many things that bring me joy. First, I’m grateful for the knowledge and preparation that AMOS gives us. It ‘s thanks to the training that we can solve problems here in the community. It brings me joy and peace to know that all pregnant moms are leaving the community to give birth safely, they are not having birth at home, which is excellent. And, thanks to that, we are not losing moms at childbirth. It brings me joy helping children whenever they need it, to be trusted by the community, and provide them with advice.“
“I’m grateful for the good coordination we have with the Ministry of Health now. Whenever we have an emergency, I know that just with a call, the ambulance will come and help us save a life.”
What does your family think about your service as a Health Promoter? Do they support you?
Aura: “My family is a great source of comfort and support, especially my husband. He understands the importance of the service I provide. During the week, I barely have the chance to stay at home. Most of the time, I’m participating in meetings with the health committee, visiting patients or meeting with the Ministry of Health local authorities.”
If there comes a moment in the future when you decide to resign, how would you like to be remembered by the community?
Aura: “I just want to be remembered as a good person. As someone who wished to serve her community, following the Lord ‘s guidance. Whenever we are in the middle of an emergency, I pray to God for his blessing, to help us save lives and make the right decisions.”