Reality Check Interview: Siguida Keneyali – Promoting Health Change, Not Charity
It’s time for another reality check. From time to time, we will post stories from the field that get to the heart of global health work. We have had some previous posts that are stories from the field or that provide a reality check. As the interviewee says below: “Many people imagine international health as this fashionable, sexy, and fun job. Nope. Most of it is administration…Yet, it is remarkably rewarding.”
Britt Bravo has a great website (Have Fun Do Good) that focuses on remarkable women who are having a social impact. She recently interviewed a coordinator of Siguida Keneyali or “Health in Our Homes”. This NGO is attempting to set up a sustainable enterprise that will be run by the local community. The themes include: volunteerism, microfinance for medical care, community empowerment and what it is like to start and run an NGO. If you have ever wondered about what it takes to start an NGO see the interview below or check out this list.
Excerpts from Empowering Change: Caitlin Cohen of the Sigida Keneyali Project –
“Below is an e-interview with another woman making a difference in Mali, Caitlin Cohen, one of two US coordinators of the Sigida Keneyali Project. Caitlin tells it like it is–the nitty gritty of starting up an NGO, and why she believes it is important to help the people you are serving to create the change they want to see, not to create the change for them…Sigida Keneyali is about improving a community’s capacity to advocate for itself, and improving its health situation using lay knowledge and civil society…Soon, we will be starting a microfinance program, and also an “emergency loan” program to help people seek medical treatment when they need it, not when they happen to be able to pay for it…Sigida is an accumulation of many small success stories, nothing flashy…Sikoro has one two-bedroom clinic. They get 40,000 patient visits per year.”