The main thrust of Mummy’s Village is to improve access to healthcare for the rural poor. This will be accomplished by educating local nurses and establishing clinics to serve rural communities. Our efforts may not be confined to rural areas, as we will look to meet the needs of the urban poor as well. We also plan to operate mobile clinics, and to be advocates for public health.
Mummy’s Village is Naamavaram, a small rural community, close to the National Highway, about two hours drive south of Visakhapatnam, in the province of Andhra Pradesh. Mrs. Mary Sarojini (Mummy) was born in this village and grew up there, but lost her mother when she was very young. It has always been her strong desire to use the land and building there to help the people of her village. Through years of serving together, our families have developed a close friendship resulting in a collaboration to use her property to equip the first clinic under Mummy’s Village.
This initiative, with a focus on health care, developed from Mary’s story of loss, and our association with Dr and Mrs. Peter Hearn who founded Spreading Health (spreadinghealth.org). Their model was established to help rural people in Cameroon. With western support and African partnership, Spreading Health works with strong local agencies to identify and educate nurses, who in turn undertake to serve their village for a minimum of three years. Over the past eight years, this initiative has raised up and trained almost 50 nurses, either fully qualified or currently enrolled in the nurses’ training. The success ratio is over 90%.
The main reason for this high success rate is strong local buy-in, and participation. Villages must have ‘a skin in the game’. This may be in the form of partial funding for uniforms or books, or alternatively the donation of land or a building for the clinic. Essentially, like Habitat for Humanity, the western assistance must be viewed as a hand up, and not a hand out. Essential to success, this component of the plan is imperative, and non-negotiable.
Through our research, we find that the Spreading Health model would compliment existing efforts and needs in India very well. We wish to emphasize that there is no legal or financial relationship of any kind between Spreading Health and Mummy’s Village – Spreading Health in India. Our strongest desire is to implement the Spreading Health model into India, and to achieve a similar success rate. This will only occur if we stand and work shoulder to shoulder, with the strongest possible support and participation from the India side. We are looking for candidates, opportunities and partners. From the outset, there must be a clear indication of local commitment in a tangible form.
Two families, one Indian and one Canadian, have joined to launch this endeavour reflecting true and real partnership. We are especially excited because we propose to introduce a proven and effective model. Together, we have a heart for the people of India, administrative ability, education and experience in health sciences, financial resources, and property. There is a freshness to this approach which we are confident will resonate with Western partners.
Chris and Diana Kutyn