Kenyan Women Graduate as Health Promoters using Popular Education Methodology developed by EPES

The transformative educational model EPES Foundation developed in Chile over the course of 32 years has been replicated today in Africa by the Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW), a new non-profit organization that dignifies the lives of the most marginalized women and their families of Kenya with tools of economic, personal and community empowerment.

September 9, 2014 (EPES).- The graduation on September 2, 2014 of thirty health and human rights monitors in Kenya marks the decisive transcontinental expansion of the popular education in health model forged by EPES in Chile over three decades ago.

The Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW), the emerging non-profit that trained this initial group of African health promoters as part of its work in Kisii and Maasai communities, strives to bring economic and personal empowerment to women and their families as well as their communities.

From Kenya, HFAW executive secretary and co-founder Grace Mose, says that “the motivation we have seen in the men and women who were trained and their determination to transform their own lives as well as the lives of others, reaffirms for us that this is the road to follow.”
“Today I am a changed person. We can use the action plan even in our own homes,” noted Karen Nyaboke, one of the women who is part of this special graduation class.
The training course addressed human rights issues from a gender perspective, such as female genital mutilation (FGM), violence against women, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health.

According to Grace Mose, through this initial training session, HFAW has formed four solid teams that will go on to train new health promtoers in other regions of the country. HFAW has set the goal to hold further training courses in January 2015, contingent on its achievements in coming months. After the graduation ceremony, community leaders and legislators agreed that the HFAW educational program must be extended throughout Kenya.

This successful educational program was designed and implemented in Africa after a group of Kenyan women, led by HFAW, participated in the EPES Foundation’s Fifth International Popular Education in Health Training Course in January 2014. Upon returning to their communities, the women resolved to reproduce the training program to empower other women in Kenyan villages.

Each year since 2010, EPES has convened international training courses to share its methodologies and strategies.

Some 89 people from 14 countries have participated in the annual courses, returning to their respective communities with newly acquired knowledge and skills.

EPES’ educational methodology incorporates the experiences of people and their communities, aiming to involve people in a collective learning and transformative process that enables them to gain and exercise fundamental rights.

The EPES International School’s achievement – crossing continents with its popular education in health methodology – has been made possible thanks to generous support from Global Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and Melanie Nelson, founder and CEO of Learning Zone Express of Owatonna, Minnesota.

PHOTO GALLERY (Click on each photo to view images in larger format.)