A Valuable Resource for People and Communities in Need

NOTA: puede ver la historia en español abajo del inglés.

Drawing by WARP Member Christine Eber

by Todd Jailer

Have you been awakened at night by a crying child burning up with a fever, and wondered if you should go to the hospital or just try to comfort her until the sun rises? Or had a friend come to the door with a broken arm? Or eaten or drunk something that made you ill, and you just didn’t seem to get better? For many of us, even if we decide to go online or phone an advice nurse instead of going to the hospital, we have a choice about what to do. But many people worldwide have fewer choices. One resource they turn to is WHERE THERE IS NO DOCTOR, a health manual for people who live far from care first published in 1973, and updated and reprinted almost yearly ever since.

This resource and its companion books like Where Women Have No Doctor, A Book for Midwives, Where There Is No Dentist and many more are published in more than 80 languages and have proven to be lifesavers for people who may live a day’s journey or more away from medical help. They’ve also proved indispensable for people who may live in the shadow of a medical center, but lack the financial resources to receive care.

Published by the non-profit Hesperian Health Guides, these books are written in simple language and are heavily illustrated to make them accessible to people who may have a lifetime of experience but limited reading skills. As new materials are developed, they are extensively field-tested: copies are sent to health workers around the world who use them in their communities. They then communicate back what is clear, what needs more work, and what is missing. It is a process that makes each book take a long time to develop, but when it is finally published, it is sure to meet people’s needs.

The books aim to help people solve immediate medical problems so they can then go on to solve longer-term issues that cause illness. For instance, not only is there information on treating giardia or amoebas, but there’s also a discussion of different ways to purify water and improve cleanliness so that stomach problems can be avoided in the future. And since much illness is caused by poverty and social inequality, the books don’t shy away from discussing the social causes of health and illness.

Often used to train community health workers, the book Helping Health Workers Learn was developed in a Guatemalan refugee camp across the border in Mexico in the 1980s. There were no trusted health structures in the refugee camps, and training people to care for themselves and their neighbors both met that need and strengthened the community. More recently, Health Actions for Women was designed by an international group of women’s health activists to share ideas about how to start conversations about issues that are controversial in their diverse communities such as family planning, abortion, violence against women, etc.

An aspect of the books that might appeal especially to WARP members is that the book covers are often built around beautiful woven, dyed, or printed cloths from Asia, Africa, and especially Central America.

As technology has developed, so have Hesperian’s resources. All of our publications are available for free on the internet, and recently Hesperian has produced 3 women’s health apps that can be downloaded to phones or tablets and used offline. Safe Pregnancy and Birth app, Family Planning app, and Safe Abortion app are all available for free in English and Spanish, with the latter two available in French and several African languages as well.

But for many people, nothing is more useful than a printed book, and Hesperian continues to update and keep all its books available. When travelling, it’s easy to pack a copy in your suitcase for your personal use and to leave it with your hosts when you go home. The Spanish translations are used in US medical schools as a guide to simple language explanations of health issues for doctors and nurses who need to work in a second language — so you can use them to improve your language skills as well.

As immunizations for COVID-19 make travel possible again for people in developed countries, vaccine inequity may leave many of the communities you want to visit unvaccinated for some time. Check out the 9 fact sheets covering aspects of COVID-19, from How to Tell if it’s COVID to Stress and Mental Health to Vaccines — all free to download in more than 32 languages.

Check out all Hesperian’s titles and the languages in which they are available on the website: www.hesperian.org

And one final note: for the month of May 2021 Hesperian will give WARP members a 20% discount on any of their publications that have a cost. Simply go to their website and use the code WARP when you order. What a gift! Thank you, Hesperian Health Guides.

TODD JAILER is an editor at Hesperian Health Guides and co-author of Helping Children Live with HIV and Workers’ Guide to Health and Safety. He worked in El Salvador from 1989-1996 with the Salvadoran Association of Art and Cultural Workers (ASTAC). In awe of weavers, his weaving experience is limited to words, not fibers. 

 


Unos Recursos Valiosos de Salud Para Gente y Comunidades

de Todd Jailer

Si alguien está leyendo esto en español, por favor nos cuenta. Si no, podría desaparecer la traducción.

¿Ha estado despertado en la noche por una niña quemando con fiebre, y se ha preguntado si debería ir al hospital o intenta dar comodidad hasta el amanecer? ¿O ha tenido un amigo llega a su puerta con un brazo fracturado? ¿O comido o bebido algo que le hizo enfermar y no mejoró? Para muchos de nosotros, aunque decidimos chequear para información por internet o llamar una enfermera de ayuda en vez de ir al hospital, tenemos opciones sobre qué hacer. Pero hay mucha gente en todo el mundo que tiene menos opciones. Un recurso que se usa es el libro Donde No Hay Doctor, un manual de salud para personas que viven lejos de ayuda publicado para la primera vez en 1973 y actualizado e impreso casi anualmente desde entonces.

Este recurso y sus libros compañeros como Donde no hay doctor para las mujeres, Un libro para parteras, Donde no hay dentista, y muchos otros son publicados en más que 80 idiomas y han sido salvavidas para gente que vive un día o más lejos de ayuda médica. También están indispensables para personas que viven en la sombra de un centro de salud pero no tienen el dinero para recibir atención.

Publicados por la organización no-lucrativa Hesperian Guías de Salud (Hesperian Health Guides) de California, estos libros son escritos en lenguaje sencillo y tienen muchas ilustraciones para hacerlos más accesibles a las personas quienes tienen una vida llena de experiencia pero sus habilidades de leer son limitadas. Cuando materiales nuevos están desarrollados los mandamos a todos lados para probarlos primero: copias van a trabajadores de salud en todo el mundo quienes las usan en sus comunidades. Después ellos nos comunican lo que es claro, lo que necesita más trabajo, y lo que falta. Es un proceso largo, y cada libro toma mucho tiempo para completarse, pero cuando finalmente terminamos es seguro que va a satisfacer las necesidades de la gente.

La meta de los libros es resolver problemas médicos inmediatos que les permita resolver problemas más grandes, los que causan las enfermedades. Por ejemplo, no solamente hay información sobre giardia intestinal o amebas, también hay información sobre opciones para purificar el agua y mejorar la limpieza, entonces problemas del estómago pueden ser evitados en el futuro. Y porque muchas enfermedades resultan de la pobreza e inequidades sociales, los libros no son tímidos sobre discutir las causas sociales de salud y enfermedades.

Usado frecuentemente para entrenar trabajadores de salud, el libro Aprendiendo a promover la salud fue desarrollado en los campos de refugiados de Guatemala cerca de la frontera de México en los años 1980s. No había infraestructura confiable para salud en los campos, y entrenar la gente para cuidarse ellas mismas y sus vecinos hizo dos cosas, proveyó la necesidad de salud y reforzó la comunidad. Más recientemente, la Guía práctica para promover la salud de las mujeres fue diseñado por un grupo internacional de activistas de salud de mujeres para compartir ideas sobre cómo empezar conversaciones sobre temas controversiales en comunidades diversas como la planificación familiar, el aborto, la violencia contra mujeres, etc.

Un aspecto de los libros que tal vez va a atraer a los miembros de WARP es que las portadas de los libros muchas veces son diseñados sobre tejidos hermosos, tejidos, teñidos, o impresos de varias regiones de Asia, África, y especialmente América Central.

Mientras la tecnología se ha desarrollado, también ha expandido los recursos de Hesperian. Todas nuestras publicaciones son disponibles gratis por internet, y recientemente Hesperian ha producido tres aplicaciones de salud de mujeres que pueden estar descargadas a teléfonos y tabletas y usadas en modo offline. El embarazo y parto seguros – app, Planificación Familiar app (también se llama Anticonceptivos: Métodos y consejeríaaplicación móvil), y Aborto Seguro – app están disponibles gratis en inglés y español, y los últimos dos también en francés y varios idiomas africanos.

Pero para mucha gente nada es mejor que un libro impreso, y Hesperian sigue actualizando y manteniendo disponibles todos sus libros. Cuando va a viajar, es fácil empacar su copia en su maleta para su uso personal y dejarlo con sus anfitriones cuando regresa a casa. Las traducciones españolas se usan en las universidades médicas en los Estados Unidos como guía para explicaciones de asuntos de salud en idioma sencillo para médicos y enfermeros quienes trabajan en español como segundo idioma – entonces usted puede usarlos para mejorar sus habilidades de idioma también.

Con la posibilidad de viajar llegando otra vez gracias a las vacunas para COVID-19 para la gente de países desarrollados, todavía podría ser que no puede visitar muchas de las comunidades que quiere por las inequidades de vacunación. Cheque las nueve páginas de información sobre COVID-19, desde Cómo saber si es COVID a Estrés y Salud Mental a Vacunas – todas gratis para descargar en más que 32 idiomas.

Puede chequear todos los títulos de Hesperian y los idiomas en cuáles son disponibles en su website: www.hesperian.org.

Y una nota más: por el mes de mayo de 2021, Hesperian va a dar un descuento de 20% a los miembros de WARP con la compra de cualquiera de sus publicaciones. Sólo necesita ir a su website y usar el código WARP cuando ponga su pedido. ¡Qué regalo! Gracias a Hesperian Guías de Salud.

 

Sunday Seminars – Connecting Around the World

Image Above: Winnie Nelon has a large collection of batik and ikat textiles she has accumulated through her travels in Asia.  She will discuss textiles from Borneo in her presentation in May. 

Prince George Fiber Arts Guild

Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

Christina Petty is a researcher of Viking textiles and weaves on a warp weighted loom. She will talk about Viking textiles in her presentation in October.

 

Reading through the website of the PG Fiber Arts Guild is enough to make a fiber artist want to move to Prince George. The range of activities they have had for more than 40 years seems to cover every need anyone might have: classes, exhibits, conferences, newsletters, meetings, movie nights, resource referrals, and equipment buying, selling, and renting, all covering the range from serious to light-hearted. And now, with so many activities on hold, they have filled in the gap with COVID Fibre Projects and Sunday Seminars – which is what this post is about.

When guild member Laura Fry started thinking about services the guild could offer while everyone was staying at home, like the rest of the world her mind started Zooming. The more she thought, the further afield her ideas went, until she finally realized that it did not matter where her speakers were, if they were connecting electronically they could be anywhere! And suddenly the guild speakers were coming from all over the world!

In addition to Canada and the US, the list includes speakers from and/or talking about Peru, Guatemala, the Shetland Islands, Borneo, Sweden, Turkey, and more, as well as both current and historic textiles. Or if you are more attracted by luminaries, the list of those yet-to-come includes: Deb Robson, Winnie Nelon, Stefan Moberg, Janet Dawson, Robyn Spady, Diana Twiss, and Christina Petty. It’s like a walk through a living textile museum. The cost is just Can$15 plus tax for non-members, $10 for members, and videos of the programs may be viewed for 30 days after the program is over. Pretty good deal in these non-traveling times, with even more details than one would usually get from a personal visit.

We who work in developing countries are intensely aware of the difference between weaving production for economic survival vs. the luxury of weaving for fun, learning, exploration, and the heART of it. The two are worlds apart, and equally important. Supporting indigenous textile cultures and production is an active goal of WARP, and learning something about the cultures those art forms grow out of is a useful first step. So go to the Prince George Fiber Arts Guild’s website and check it out. You just might want to join!

 

 

 

The Fleece and Fiber Source Book by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius takes a deep look at the various sheep breeds and the quality of fiber they produce.  Deborah will talk about Shetland fibers and the isles for her presentation in April

E.Y.H.O. Tours Canada

E.Y.H.O. Tours Canada
397 Cranbrooke Ave.
Toronto, ON M5M1N4 Canada

1 (647) 282-3002
shila@eyhotours.com
https://www.eyhotours.com/

Contact person: Shila Desai

Join our small group tours to explore the material culture, architecture, and history of traditional societies. Explore textiles of desert lands of India, Central Asia, and Morocco; Orissa, Nagaland, Assam, Bhutan, SE Asia and further. Hands on workshops, visits with artisans, delicious local food, cultural beats. Led by experts. Sensitively conceived travel that leaves a light footprint and a big impact.  Our travellers often forge lifelong connections. The best kind of travel!


Local Cloth

Local Cloth
PO Box 9622
Asheville, NC 28815

(828) 407-0678
info@localcloth.org
www.localcloth.org
www.shoplocalcloth.org

Contact person: Judi Jetson

Shop Local Cloth is on a mission to bring climate-benefitting fiber to your closet, your garden, and your studio. Our online marketplace supports producers at every stage in the fiber supply chain – from the mountains with love. We hope to make it easier to shop local, from afar, all while supporting our regional Blue Ridge Mountain Fibershed and the Western North Carolina fiber economy.


Textile Trails

Textile Trails
Perth, Western Australia

textiletrails@gmail.com
textiletrails.com.au

Contact person: Wendy Garrity

Textile Trails offers small group travel through less-visited parts of Bhutan. These annual tours are crafted especially for people who love textiles, craft and local culture and who seek the immersive experience of travelling with Wendy, who has lived and breathed Bhutan and is passionate about the Bhutanese people, their culture, and particularly their weaving. Join us if you seek to purchase directly from artisans, learn hands-on, empower and connect with locals, experience village life.


Baskets of Africa

Baskets of Africa
1714 Eubank Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112

(800) 504-4656
info@basketsofafrica.com
https://basketsofafrica.com

Contact person: Cael Chappell

We offer a wide variety of high quality, true Fair Trade, baskets from throughout the African continent. Each of these uniquely handwoven baskets is individually photographed for your shopping convenience. You can choose with confidence, knowing that you will receive the exact basket you see on display. As regular shipments arrive directly from Africa, we continuously add new baskets to our ever evolving collection. Check back often to see the latest Fair Trade African Baskets and Gifts! Baskets of Africa has been supporting weavers and their families since 2002 by offering them economic and creative opportunities to weave their baskets.


Artisans Beyond Borders

Artisans Beyond Borders
4620 E. San Francisco Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85712

(520) 398-9450

Contact@ArtisansBeyondBorders.org
www.ArtisansBeyondBorders.org

Contact person: Valarie James, Founder

Generational arts embroidered and crocheted on traditional manta cloth. Created by asylum-seekers while migrating from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Mexico to the U.S. Artisans Beyond Borders bi-national Initiative empowers families to create heritage arts, supports solidarity among artisans regardless of their origin, and fosters friendship and respect between artisans and their supporters across the U.S.-Mexico border.


The San Carlos Foundation – Supporting Volunteers in the Field

Image Above: San Carlos Foundation founders and friends at the School of the Americas Watch protests.
From left to right, Father Bill O’Donnell, Dr. Davida Coady, Pete Seeger, Martin Sheen, Father Daniel Berrigan, Father John Dear.

by Deborah Chandler and Todd Jailer

Many WARP members have an idea of what the Peace Corps is about; in fact many WARP members have been Peace Corps Volunteers. At the moment the Peace Corps is on hold, all volunteers having been brought home due to the COVID Pandemic. While all PCVs have a strong desire to serve people internationally, not everyone wants to do their service connected to the US government. So what if you want to do that service but the Peace Corps won’t work for you? Are there alternatives? Yes, there are, and this story about the San Carlos Foundation describes one of them.

In 1984, most international volunteer-sending organizations were not placing people in Central America because of the ongoing wars in the region. To Dr. Davida Coady, who spent much of her career providing care in refugee camps on almost every continent, that made no sense: war zones, refugee camps, urban slums and remote rural villages are often the places where skills, support, and solidarity are needed the most! So together with Fr. Bill O’Donnell, a veteran of United Farm Workers organizing in California, and the actor and activist Martin Sheen, they founded the San Carlos Foundation, based in Berkeley, California. While San Carlos can’t compete with the Peace Corps in numbers of volunteers – they have funded about 150 volunteers in almost 40 years — they are a small organization with a large footprint.

On a trip to Guatemala in the 1980s, Martin Sheen, Fr. Bill O’Donnell, Dr. Davida Coady, and Guatemalan Fr. Andres Girón.

Their idea was to fund work by people that was otherwise “unfundable.” Over the years, volunteers have:

  • taught photography to children who live in the Guatemala City dump;
  • provided health care in conflict zones;
  • documented human rights abuses and trained human rights workers;
  • helped cooperatives develop accounting skills;
  • trained communicators in journalism and community radio;
  • and shared skills from welding to desktop publishing to latrine-building to small hydroelectric generation. (See a short report on the last of those at the end of this story.)

While San Carlos volunteers have helped various artisan groups develop marketing plans, so far they have had no weavers as volunteers!

Their website explains:

We provide health and educational assistance to refugees and other people living in extreme poverty in the developing world, particularly in Central America. We grant minimal living expenses—currently $6,000 a year—to doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, teachers and other professionals who volunteer their time, live in primitive conditions and train local people to continue their work when they leave.

Although San Carlos asks for a one-year minimum commitment, many volunteers stay much longer. Local language skills and previous third world experience are prerequisites, as are skills useful to the population with whom the volunteer intends to work. Unlike the Peace Corps, volunteers do not go in blind to a situation arranged for them; instead, volunteers need to know where they are going and why, and have a pre-arranged agreement.

Over the past few years the number of young people who have studied international development work at the university level and are now embarking on careers in the field has grown tremendously. It is very exciting, as it brings a whole new energy and mind-set to the work. No longer dedicated to one project for life, these young activists are dedicated to the concepts of fair trade, justice, supporting local efforts, and so much more, and finding myriad ways to go about it. Many WARP members are involved in such endeavors, and for those who are interested in working in the field and gaining valuable experience as well as providing real help, the San Carlos Foundation might be able to help them reach that goal. At the same time, for those who are passionate about the idea and the need but cannot go into the field themselves, supporting this foundation is an option. Well worth knowing about, their methods and goals are totally in alignment with WARP’s mission and goals.

You can find out more or contribute to the San Carlos Foundation on their website: www.sancarlosfoundation.org or by writing to Todd Jailer, President and himself a former volunteer: sancarlosfoundation18@gmail.com.

 


How to organize and install a micro-hydroelectric plant

from a report to the San Carlos Foundation from Rebecca Leaf and ATDER-BL
(Asociación de Trabajadores de Desarrollo Rural – Benjamín Linder)

These projects start with a rural community like this one, Valle Los Condegas:

After checking out a nearby stream, the first step is a series of community meetings to discuss the possible construction of a micro-hydroelectric system and to form the community committee for this project.

The second step is the preparation of the design and budget for the project (ATDER-BL does this work usually on a volunteer basis). Then the search for financing for construction begins. When funding is secured, so does the physical labor. Here a village volunteer work brigade starts building the water intake:

The water intake is a very small dam that diverts some water from the stream into a plastic pipe.

Then pipe is installed from the dam to the powerhouse. The powerhouse is the small red building (see photo on other side) that protects the turbine and generator. Next to the powerhouse, the first post of the electric grid is installed. Depending on the distance to be covered by the electric grid, a transformer may be needed on the first post.

We build these small water turbines at our metalworking shop in the town of El Cua. Bringing the turbine into the powerhouse is difficult, but anything is possible if you have enough people working together.

Then we connect the turbine to the water pipe that brings the water down from the dam. The pulleys and belts that transfer the water’s energy from the turbine to the small electric generator are installed. Then we put up the posts and string the cables of the electric grid.

Finally, we test the lights in the houses, school, hook up the refrigerators, public telephones, etc. With electricity, the community feels different both by day and by night. The people gather to celebrate with prayers and blessings, speeches and poems. The inauguration lasts all afternoon with music, dancing, lots of food, and piñatas for the children.

This small rural electrification project benefits 100 families.

It is difficult to express the depth of the gratitude I feel towards the San Carlos Foundation for the support you have provided me during the years of war, and continued during the years of peace. Without your support, none of this work would have been possible.