jueves, 1 de agosto de 2013

Obras internacionales de la Orden de Malta

Think big, start small – this advice for aspiring entrepreneurs can also be applied to many of our projects around the world. By starting with the local community and then preparing them to pay it forward, we can create a snowball effect of solidarity – whether it is through a new reconstruction project in Cuba that also trains humanitarian workers for the next disaster, a neighbourhood association in a Haitian slum setting an example for a healthy and dignified life, or a group of promising health professionals in South Sudan who will help shape the future of health care in their nation. Enjoy your reading!


Nine months ago, Hurricane Sandy swept through the Caribbean and the U.S. Atlantic coast, leaving behind a path of death and destruction. In Cuba, the category 2 hurricane made landfall on 25 October 2012, and although the population was warned hours before, many were not prepared for the intensity of the storm. Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second largest city, was directly hit by the storm and suffered the most damages. 11 people died, 185,000 houses were severely damaged, and 15,000 houses were completely destroyed. Many families are still homeless today.
Malteser International, together with the Cuban Association of the Order of Malta and the Archdiocese of Santiago de Cuba, is helping rebuild 61 severely damaged homes for more than 300 residents in the most affected regions. The organization will supply roofing and construction materials as well as replace damaged home furnishings such as mattresses, sheets and basic household appliances.
In addition, Malteser International will help train the helpers of its Cuban partners. “We would like to help them develop their knowledge on the principles of humanitarian aid,” explains Michael Thanner, program manager for Cuba at Malteser International. For this purpose, Malteser International will conduct workshops on the SPHERE project, an internationally recognized set of common principles and universal standards for humanitarian response. “These trainings will serve to streamline the local helpers’ efforts and to provide them with relevant knowledge about disasters, as they will continue to strike the island in the future,” Thanner added.


Cité Soleil, Haiti’s largest slum in the outskirts of capital Port-au-Prince, is plagued by a bad reputation that is all too common for poor neighborhoods: it is known as a dirty and dangerous area. But now, a neighborhood association is inviting outsiders to see Cité Soleil in a different light. “La Difference” is an area of the slum where the streets are clean and the residents do their share to improve the living conditions in the neighborhood. On the last June weekend, La Difference, Malteser International and other local partner organizations organized a fair where food producers, craftsmen, artists and young performers came together to show the wealth of talent their neighborhood has to offer. 
Under the motto “Klere Site'n, Klere Kilti'n” (clean city, bright culture), the event combined cultural activities and exhibitions with raising awareness of pressing social issues. Malteser International was present with activities to promote hygiene and mobilize the community to prevent diseases such as cholera. The organization provided handwashing stations for the nearly 3,000 participants, set up waste collection bins around the neighborhood, distributed flyers and showed videos with practical advice on improving hygiene.
“I really appreciate and encourage these activities in our neighborhood,” said a food vendor at the fair about Malteser International’s work. “It helps us to improve the hygiene conditions. The food I’m selling here has been prepared with treated water, since I had received a hygiene kit with soap and water treatment tabs from Malteser International to prevent certain diseases that can be found in food, if it is not thoroughly cooked.”  With the support of the European Union, Malteser International has been working in Cité Soleil to build up the capacity of the local population both in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene as well as in disaster risk reduction.  



Even as South Sudan celebrated its second Independence Day on 9 July, the country continues to face major hurdles on its path to development. In a country with some of the poorest health indicators in the world, progress in the health sector continues to be very slow. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of qualified health professionals in the country.
In Rumbek, the capital of Lakes State in central South Sudan, Malteser International is working to change this situation. Since late May, Malteser International has been managing the newly formed Rumbek Health Training School (RHTS), which merges Malteser International’s laboratory training school with Rumbek’s nursing school. “We hope that, by merging the two schools, we will be able to improve the quality of the training and the students’ performance,” says Brigitte Podborny, country coordinator for Malteser International in South Sudan.
The RHTS is expected to produce at least 106 qualified graduates (48 nurses and 58 laboratory technicians) by early 2016. With a total of 9 tutors and clinical instructors, the three-year program also counts on an optimal student-teacher ratio.
“We hope Malteser International will advance the RHTS to become a well-recognized training school,” said Samuel Maketh, training director at the South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, at the school’s opening ceremony. “The focus is on creating an enabling learning and teaching environment for both students and tutors.”The European Union is supporting the project with 1.7 million euros for the duration of 3 years. Malteser International is managing the school under the guidance of the State Ministry of Health for Lakes, and in partnership with the national Ministry of Health. 
Before the merging of the schools, Malteser International had already been running Rumbek’s medical laboratory training school since 2002. 85 laboratory technicians graduated from the program. 

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