Bua Health Center

Inaugurating a center for integrated health in Bua . . .

In April of 2009 we began work to reconstruct a building next to the school in Bua for use as a health promotion center, as well as to provide Giovanny our agricultural expert who works there full-time, with an office space and place from which to disseminate information about agriculture.

We spent about 3 months beforehand trying to get the local authorities to contribute to the work so that the funds that we received from Meander School in Holland would go further and allow us to focus more on development, training and workshops. But we were unsuccessful, and so decided to press on with the renovations on our own account.

Concurrently we have been meeting with local Tsa'chila groups to plan the use of the center according to their needs, wishes, and cultural values. The building was built by local authorities 10 years ago as a health center, equipped, and then never used. Once our renovations were complete the local ministry of health requested that we hand the building over to them to equip, staff, and use as a health center. But we realized that they have no understanding of the Tsa'chila culture, and that if they are allowed to just come in again and set up the way they usually work, the Tsa'chila will not attend and it will fail once again. However, we let the Tsa'chila themselves decide what they would like to do with the building and fortunately they decided to reject the offer of the Ministry of Health and continue developing the center with Yanapuma.

Thus, our aim is to plan with the Tsa'chila how best to take advantage of this space for their health promotion needs, giving them the final say on what they would like to see in their community as a suitable facility. For us it is a bit of a gamble, but we pin our faith on our well-established relationship with them and the mutual respect that we hold for each others opinions.