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Joan Farrar

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Clinica Verde
April 5, 2012

Clinica Verde is a stand-alone, non-profit organization created in 2007 by a young wife and mother in the Napa Valley of CA, to build a “Global Prototype of an environmentally sustainable health clinic in a poor area of Nicaragua,” the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere.” The clinic’s focus is on prenatal care for women and pediatric care for children. These needs are brought home to me by two statistics that, in Nicaragua, natal mortality is 20 times that in the U. S. and 20 per cent of deaths among children under five are due to treatable causes.
The world is filled with desperate needs by poor people in dysfunctional countries and many charitable projects have been organized by well-meaning people to bring hope and change to their situations. Too often, the projects are poorly organized, poorly funded and poorly led. Predictably, their efforts raise false hopes, waste time and money and end in failure. Clinica Verde is an exception to this pattern. Susan Lyons, its founder and chairman, organized an outstanding Board, raised more than a million dollars from local sources and built a beautiful, environmentally sustainable health clinic which began operations in January of this year. The clinic now is providing outpatient services for the general public as well as targeted services for pregnant women and young children, and is doing so in a way which expresses compassion and respect for the people it serves, who, often, have experienced very little of either in their lives.
A common feeling expressed by many who enter the clinic is that they cannot believe such a beautiful place has been constructed for them, but it has been. And we now are considering possible ways to replicate the effort, with joint venture partners, in other impoverished areas of Nicaragua and the world.

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