Mwaramutse/Good Morning!

Our first meeting with the MHEP moms!

We had an incredibly productive meeting this morning with Emmanuel Bakundukize, the Coordinator (or President equivalent), of our partner organization the Rwanda Village Concept Project (RVCP). We discussed our plans for the next two months and what we each wanted to accomplish during the GROW trip as well as during the next academic year. While we discussed our plans for our main project, the Maternal Health Education Project (MHEP) at the Rukira Clinic in Huye, we also talked about various workshops and meetings that we want to hold over the next few months. 

 

Because Alex and I have so much to learn from each RVCP member, we felt it only fair for us to share a little of our knowledge. Thus, we planned with Emmanuel to hold four workshops for RVCP members about 1) the use of social media (facebook, twitter, blogging) for spreading awareness and maximizing fundraising efforts, 2) the use of google apps (google docs, google spreadsheet, google calendar, google task) to help the everyday operations of RVCP, 3) the basics of grant writing (including the development of cooperation between the RVCP grant writing team and GlobeMed at GWU’s grant writing team during the next year), and 4) the most effective ways to utilize and publicize Global Giving pages.

 

We also planned on meeting later in the trip with all of the directors in RVCP to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding for next year and the best techniques for monitoring and evaluation for MHEP. Our preliminary ideas for monitoring and evaluation are to have each woman who comes to the Rukira Clinic complete a survey about their health and the health of their children. This survey will also ask whether the woman has or is participating in MHEP so that we can compare the long-term effects of MHEP on the health of the women to the health of the women who have not participated in MHEP.

 

This week, we also had the good fortune of meeting about half of the mothers who will be involved in this summer’s MHEP. Along with the help of Emmanuel, the director of initiatives and the director of the MHEP initiative, we were able to introduce ourselves and explain the basics of the program, including the commitments required of the program. A storm passed over Rukira just as we were finishing our introductory session, so most of the mothers stayed at the clinic with us to wait for the rain to pass. During this time, we got to know each of them a little better and were lucky enough to spend some time with their children as well. We are truly looking forward to working with all of the women and RVCP members involved in MHEP and are extremely excited about all of the people we have been fortunate enough to meet in the few days we have been in Rwanda.

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