Northern Arizona University’s Experience with KAMBIA Community Development Program
Northern Arizona University (NAU) has participated in virtual programs since 2021 and an in-person program in 2022 in partnership with Kambia. It most recent program was an in-person one to Honduras with KAMBIA Community Development Program from July 2-15, 2023. NAU has partner with the community of El Apintal and has been able to collaboratively make an impact along with staff and community members. The mission of KAMBIA is to inspire, mobilize, and collaborate with communities to achieve their own health and economic goals.
During the Community Development Program, NAU has empowered community members from El Apintal, Choluteca through different projects. In July 2023 and based on a previous Community Action Plan worked during the virtual sessions, they continue to implement the construction of key public health infrastructure projects, such as eco-stoves, hygiene stations, and water filters.
Visited the client from a previous virtual program as well, to not only get to know them in-person but to also see how the deliverables proposed have supported the business in the community. NAU also met with the Basic Sanitation Committee, Water Council and supported the team with the socialization of the Community Bank so the community establishes one that will give access to economic growth. Additionally, these committees will help to ensure the sustainability of the projects and maximize their impact on the community.
Prior to their time in-country, NAU raised funds to provide a teachers training for teaches from El Apintal to learn different strategies and new methodologies about reading and writing. Once in country, besides seeing the teachers put into practice the new tools, the team along with adults and children from the community decorated a classroom and set up a small library to provide a space for students to learn even more through interactive areas as well as donated computers and desks to the school, providing new tools for the teaching-learning process, to students and teachers from El Apintal.
In addition to their work on community development projects, other projects included the support with funds for the construction of a well that will provide access to clean potable water to the community members. The well will benefit 189 homes (approx 690 community members). The constructions of the well was in partnership with Living Water as well.
Construction of a vegetable patch with recycled materials that will benefit the community with nutritive food and has thought children to recycle and have a safer environment.
NAU participants also visitied the community of Suyapa, Cantarranas located within the municipality of San Juan de Flores in the department of Francisco Morazán in central Honduras to learn about the role of the Community Health Workers/Entrepreneurs who are key people in the community to provide assistance to emergencies and check up on chronic patients when there are no groups in country.
Overall, the collaboration between NAU and Kambia continues to be positive and impactful. In July, students were able to make a real difference in the lives of the people of El Apintal, and they learned valuable skills that they can apply to their future careers at the same time.
If you are a teacher or faculty member, please contact us to organize a Kambia program for your class. It is a life-changing experience that will benefit everyone involved.