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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

A labor of love and service to others!

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Alicia De Dios Fernandez
Alicia De Dios Fernandez
Inmigrante Mexicana. Originaria del estado de Hidalgo, Organizadora, comunitaria, Activista de derechos humanos. Le gusta colaborar en actividades y causas comunitarias . Escribir es parte de ella . Escribe poemas, pensamientos , artículos , ensayos como parte de auto aprendizaje

Within our society, the human being fulfills different roles for it to work and advance.

There are those who are in charge of economic growth, the environment, those who are in charge of the production and distribution of food, the construction of houses, among many more functions that we choose according to our vocation.

Today I want to talk about those whose qualities go beyond just doing a job, since for this you need: empathy, love and a great spirit of helping others.

During pandemic days, where many of us experience something never before vivid. Invaded by fear and drastic changes in our daily lives, we witnessed great social, economic, physical and mental health impacts, to name just a few.

In those difficult moments, there was an urgent need to find people capable of fulfilling the function of a Health Promoter, called to help others in the face of the magnitude of the situation.

According to the American Public Health Association – A Health Promoter or “Community Health Worker” in English:

You are a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of the community you serve or who has an unusually deep understanding of this community.

From that moment we know the importance that they have in society and our communities since until today their work focuses on service to society and they also fulfill very important roles; among these papers are:

– Cultural link between communities and health and social services systems.
– Guides / Navigators of health systems to help people access services and resources according to their needs.
– Promote health and well-being through information to help communities have a better and healthier life.
– Advocacy: to ensure that people are treated with respect and have access to the services and resources they need.

Health Promoters are essential these days and their great work must be recognized both by the Government and by society itself, as it is a job that those who do it thoroughly are people full of empathy and capable of carrying out their work under the worse conditions, all this with the main objective of helping and serving a society or person who is in difficult conditions.

During the pandemic, in North Carolina, more than 700 Health Promoters were mobilized, mostly representatives of the Hispanic/Latino and African-American communities to outreach, educate, and connect the community to COVID 19 tests, vaccines, and treatments. They were also instrumental in connecting families with food, financial aid, medical services, and other resources to help those most affected by the pandemic, continue to debunk myths about the vaccine, and promote self-sufficiency, education, and health literacy among our community.

Because of this, it has been necessary to train new Spanish-speaking Health Promoters to meet the needs of the Latino communities that, as we know, are growing every day in the United States.

For this reason, schools such as: Durham Technical Community College impart courses to train new Health Promoters, together with organizations such as El Centro Hispano and just this December the second generation of Health Promoters or “Community Health” has graduated. Workers “, a course taught entirely in Spanish whose objective is to cover more Spanish-speaking areas that need support in different areas.

My personal experience as a student for a Health Promoter of North Carolina has been very rewarding since I have found more bases and knowledge to be able to help the community in its primary needs such as: Health, food, support in difficult circumstances but above all, knowing that we can empower the community itself with knowledge and information that helps them improve their living conditions, since it is of the utmost importance that the community know their rights, and have information at hand that can help them in any moment. And I invite the community to approach us so that we can support them and provide them with information or direct them to the right places where they can receive help.

Thanks to Fiorella Horna for all her work and knowledge that she shares in order to empower more people who can help build a better world.

Alicia Fernandez

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