Community Health Worker Seminar

Dear Friends and Family,

“You want me to do what to that doll?” This was the expression I saw on a handful of faces among 17 of our community health workers as Margaret asked them to practice the mouth to mouth breathing, which she just taught them, on the CPR doll. But to their credit, every one of them stepped up to the plate and practiced breathing little breaths in to the doll to get the feel and rhythm with coaching from Margaret.

Two weeks ago Saturday we hosted a CHW seminar, with three modules: Helping Babies Breath, Usandawe Nutrition, and Bible
teaching-ministering in word and deed.

Margaret taught part of the ‘Helping Babies Breath’, a neonatal resuscitation course geared towards parts of the world with high neonatal mortality rates. She took our CHW’s through the critical first steps of what to do with a baby immediately after he/she is born. There was good feedback and lots of questions, and some myths dispelled. There were also a lot of laughs and rib poking around the CPR doll. In the end they were very thankful and felt more equipped to help babies who are born suddenly at home or under a tree on the way to a clinic.

The second module was taught by Emma Witwer while I translated. Emma was our short term missionary who’s been helping home school Rachel and also doing community nutrition assessments in various villages. She traveled to four different villages with a Congolese missionary, Gideon, who acted as translator, and interviewed around 100 women total, asking them about what their families typically eat. She said that she asked 100 people and got the same initial answer from all 100…….. “We eat UGALI” (accompanied by an incredulous look of ‘duh, what else is there?’) Thankfully, with further questioning, she was able to flesh out what other things went with the ugali (the stiff maize porridge staple).

Emma developed the nutrition questionnaire, and then based on her assessments, she researched the nutritional value of locally available foods, and then wrote a teaching module for the CHW’s, which emphasized nutritionally balanced meals and God’s provision for us. She also taught them how to fill specific nutrition gaps with locally available food sources.

It was very well received. Their favorite part was being divided in to three teams of ‘cooks’, each team had a group of papers with different foods written on them and they had to choose three foods to make a balanced meal and present it in front of everyone.

Pastor Mashauri did the Bible teaching for the third module.

Our hope is as these CHW’s live among their neighbors, they may have opportunities to 1)save the life of a newborn 2)help their neighbors make wise meal choices for their family, which will impact their nutrition and overall health 3)share about God’s provision for their daily lives and ultimate provision in Christ………perhaps all in the same day!

Thanks for all your support for these precious brothers and sisters in Christ!

Serving with you,

Jon for all of us


1) and 2) Practicing on the CPR doll
3) 4) and 5) Emma teaching nutrition
6) 7) 8) The ‘cooks’ in their groups

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