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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Curamericas Global

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, International, International Development, Nonprofit Management, Public Health

Mission: Curamericas Global partners with underserved communities to make measurable and sustainable improvements in their health and well-being.

Results: In Bolivia, the Curamericas project reduced child mortality rates by an average of 62% in six years. After one year since construction was completed and the Maternity Center opened to serve families in Guatemala, 30% of all births in the community are taking place in its safe facilities. Nurses and midwives are trained to aid in safe deliveries and to appropriately respond in emergency situations. After only one year of work in Haiti, we have provided services to more than 10,000 women providing treatment and prevention services for HIV/AIDS. Our Nehnwaa Child Survival Project in Liberia records zero maternal deaths since our project began in 2008. In a country where the lifetime risk of death due to pregnancy is 400 times as high as the U.S., this is a terrific achievement by the local health teams.

Target demographics: Mothers and children under the age of five in countries with high maternal and child mortality rates; women of reproductive age in Haiti

Geographic areas served: Guatemala, Liberia, Haiti, Bolivia

Programs: Curamericas Global partners with underserved communities to make measurable and sustainable improvements in their health and wellbeing. For over thirty years, we have worked in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa to alleviate suffering from treatable and preventable causes. Our past and current projects in Guatemala, Haiti, and Liberia have served communities with some of the highest child and maternal mortality rates in the world, confronting conditions that include malnutrition, pneumonia, malaria, and complications from child birth. We believe passionately in the community and family foundations of health. Our projects build the capacity of communities and families to improve their own health. Therefore, our projects always empower women and girls, recognizing that a mother is the child’s first doctor, and the surest predictor of a child’s health is the education level of his/her mother. Curamericas Global utilizes community-based education and prevention interventions in order to address different health problems relating to maternal and child health in underserved communities in Latin America and West Africa, and delivers these strategies using Curamericas’ Community-Based, Impact-Oriented (CBIO) model in combination with the Care Group and Positive Deviance methodologies. The CBIO approach involves: (a) Community mobilization to cement good relations and secure community buy-in and ownership; (b) Conducting a census and health assessment of each community; (c) drawing maps, enumerating households, and creating a Community Register of every beneficiary by household; (d) establishing Community Health Committees (CHCs) and helping the CHCs develop a Community Diagnosis describing the community’s health challenges and a Community Health Plan describing how the project and the community will work based on both epidemiologically-driven health objectives and community perceived health priorities; (e) using the Community Registers to monitor coverage of key services to ensure equitable services to all and that those most in need are served; (f) methodically locating and making targeted home visits through Routine Home Visitation (RHV) to those most in need; and (g) utilizing a continuous health surveillance system that allows staff to tailor service delivery and engage in continuous quality improvement. This involves the capturing of vital events – new pregnancies, births, and deaths - that give us the unique capacity to track and detect actual project impact and measure changes in maternal and child mortality rather than a sample. The Care Group methodology involves recruiting and training mother peer educators called Care Group Volunteers. Each Care Group Volunteer is assigned eight to twelve neighboring households and brings to these households, via group meetings or home visitation, life-saving Behavior Change Communication (BCC) delivered in the local language and utilizing proven methods of adult education for non- or semi-literate audiences. Subjects covered include, but are not limited to the importance of antenatal and post-partum care and health facility deliveries; recognizing and responding to danger signs in pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum; prevention and care-seeking for malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia; and proper nutrition for pregnant women and children, as well as immunization adherence. In this manner, health education penetrates to every household. In addition, the CGVs are the project’s “eyes and ears” and report to project staff vital events so field staff can respond with timely services and to enable the unique surveillance capability described above. The Positive Deviance model identifies healthy children (“positive deviants”). The mothers of these children are then interviewed in order to find out how better health was achieved, and thereby what locally available and affordable foods can be used.

Community Stories

99 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of joining Curamericas on a volunteer trip to Guatemala in August 2016. I was humbled and inspired by their meaningful efforts. They have set out an ambitious (some might even think unattainable) objective: to lift the health of new mothers, their infants, and their children in the places with the highest infant mortality rates in world. On the trip, I saw firsthand that they were succeeding. Progress will necessarily come incrementally. But Curamericas is moving, and will continue to move, their partner communities in the right direction. A particularly impressive aspect of Curamericas efforts is that they do not impose what they perceive as “right”. Rather, they begin only after being asked to participate by entire communities. The efforts are organized by people, and the ownership of those communities in the process makes the possibility of continued success seem real.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When seeking opportunities to further my experience and knowledge in Women's Public health, I discovered Curamericas' Global. I began volunteering during my first year as an MPH graduate student. The knowledge I have acquired regarding global health, women's health, child health and serving under-served populations has enhanced my current studies and will positively impact and contribute to my future global health career. I have been collaborating with compassionate and focused Curamericas' team members. I am inspired by their dedication to mitigate suffering, as well as their data driven results of improving health in under-served communities around the globe. I have enjoyed my experience as a Curamericas' volunteer and would love to be more involved in the future on a service trip abroad or during my graduate school internship.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel so lucky to be having the opportunity to intern at Curamericas Global, learning from dedicated staff members who truly care for maternal and child health in neglected communities. What I find most unique about Curamericas are evidence-based, data-driven projects that they are proven to be making difference and improving the lives of mothers and children in developing countries. As a student studying in Global Health, I hope more students can volunteer and learn about Curamericas Global and expand their knowledge.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I learned about Curamericas, I felt an instant connection. Growing up in South America I have seen a lot of poverty in my country. I've seen mothers and children living in such precarious conditions in areas with no running water or electricity and just a cardboard over their heads as a roof. As a mother now, I can't imagine living in such living conditions and facing all these difficulties every day. Reading about what Curamericas does in poor communities all over the world, it touched my heart, so I became a volunteer five months ago. The staff and interns at Curamericas are remarkable people. They are kind, generous, genuine, hardworking people. I'm so honor to be part of this organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have the honor of being a current intern at Curamericas Global. The staff here is so incredibly dedicated and passionate about the amazing work that Curamericas does. I even worked along side other students to start a Curamericas Club at my college because I so strongly support the work that they do. Curamericas' approach to community-based health care is innovative and inspiring. The idea of helping a community become self-sustainable rather than just bringing in healthcare for a week or two and then leaving the community where it started, is something that I had not heard of until working alongside Curamericas. I cannot wait to see what amazing work they do in the future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Curamericas Global far exceeded my expectations. As an intern, I was exposed to their internal and external non-profit operations and was thoroughly impressed by the efficient, economical, and professional balance maintained to maximize impact of their efforts. I cannot say enough about the dedicated staff whom I've had the pleasure of working with. They are extremely knowledgeable about global health and are not only mindful of interns' growth as professionals through relevant work assignments, but work towards growth and improvement for Curamericas Global as a whole. This non-profit not only provided me with amazing learning opportunities, but also admirable mentors and career goals of high standards to strive for. I highly recommend anyone become involved with Curamericas and their mission in any way they can whether it be to volunteer, intern, or donate.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the amazing opportunity to intern along side the dedicated staff at Curamericas. This is an amazing nonprofit that is committed to doing the work they say they do. Not only do they work tirelessly at the domestic level, but they are constantly working to develop their many project sites internationally. They are open to growth, honest, and a great resource for anyone looking to explore the Public Health field.

1 Michelle Richter

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In April of 2016, I had the privilege of accompanying Curamericas Global on a leadership trip to Guatemala. Participating in the leadership trip, as opposed to working at one project site, allowed me to travel to different regions of the country and learn about the cultural and social issues that help and/or hinder the implementation of improved health services and access. This allowed me to fully realize the importance of the community-centered approached that Curamericas uses in different regions of the country. By embracing the local traditions in Guatemala’s highlands, Curamericas was able to shift the negative opinion of those communities towards medical facilities, resulting in a huge increase of mothers choosing to have their children in maternity clinics. Many women we met with said that 100% of the women in their community now give birth in maternity clinics rather than their home.

Countless organizations provide facilities and supplies to communities in need, what makes Curamericas Global unique is their focus on empowering local women through education. Curamericas trains a handful of women in basic health practices to take back to their communities. These women conduct training with other women who lead monthly meetings with small groups of mothers on infant care. When we met with groups of mothers, they told us they consistently attend the monthly meetings because they have seen this education reduce infant deaths in their communities. Walking into maternity clinics and seeing young women who not only have a thorough understanding of maternal and infant healthcare, but demonstrated this to us through numerous charts and graphs demonstrating the success of their work, was really incredible. If Curamericas left Guatemala tomorrow, the knowledge these women possess and continue to share with new mothers in their communities would remain. In my opinion, that is the mark of a successful outreach organization and it was such a pleasure to get to see this success firsthand.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Curamericas is an amazing organization! It has a history of doing great work, and everyone is so kind and helpful. I am so glad I started volunteering!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Curamericas is a great nonprofit with an even better mission. But what makes Curamericas unique is not just their mission but their method. The CBIO (Community based impact oriented) methodology is one that gets the communities that they help involved in creating solutions to their problems versus just being spoon fed help that doesn't target the roots of the problem. Curamericas does great work and I look forward to working with them in the future as well.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been interning with Curamericas for a few months now and absolutely love the work and the people in the organization. Curamericas is dedicated to improving the lives of women and children and it shows in all they do!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Curamericas is a great organization with a great mission.

3 TLCJones

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to contribute to an organization that works to alleviate the unnecessary suffering of women and children in forgotten communities. As I explored options for supporting a non-profit with a mission that brings attention to the human rights to which all women and girls are entitled, Curamericas' unique Community-Based, Impact-Oriented (CBIO) methodology stood out. By educating and training community members and collecting long-term data, our work today becomes a legacy to benefit the girls and women of tomorrow.

3 Brenda87

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Curamericas for 15 years, beginning as a volunteer to a project site in Bolivia. Since that time I have made many return volunteer trips to Bolivia and also to West Africa. As a board member for the past 5 years I have only deepened my appreciation for the work of the organization and the long-term sustainability of the projects. The focus is women and children and community interventions which can be sustained by the community on an ongoing basis. Curamericas partners with local health care providers - increases their capacity and empowers them for sustained growth. Lives are saved and communities strengthened for change on a global basis.

3 Rob_48

Board Member

Rating: 5

The work of Curamericas in Guatemala, Liberia and other developing areas of the world is amazing. I found the reaction of local communities striking. The interest of these remote communities in having Curamericas work with local partners to promote health for women and children among their populations validates the effectiveness of Curamericas and the public health professionals saving lives through their work with this organization.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on 2 trips with Curamericas to their project site in Calhuitz, Guatemala. These experiences were life-changing to say the least. What makes Curamericas special is their focus on community-based healthcare solutions. I was amazed at the ways the community was involved in supporting the Casa Materna in whatever ways they could. This created a solution that will last even after Curamericas moves on to another area. The leadership within the Curamericas Global organization is top notch. Each of the trips I participated in were very thoroughly planned and organized. I got an immersive perspective on the work Curamericas was doing, as well as the culture, language, and history of Guatemala. I cannot say enough about the great work Curamericas is doing all around the world.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

With all the tension in the world, projects/organizations like Curamericas bring some sanity to all of us. Curamericans is a model for others to follow and build upon.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

Curamericas it's a non profit that uses an approach that I admire. The organization works with existing agencies within countries as a partner to improve maternal child health with a cultural sensitivity that is lacking in other organizations. I believe that by working with local people and agencies the impact is greatly enhanced and chances gradually become part of modified cultural norms. I am hoping to go on a volunteer trip with the group next summer to see first hand the impact.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently a Volunteer at Curamericas Global. As recent transfer student to the public health department on my campus, i had a very vague idea of what i wanted to concentrate on with my degree. After witnessing curamericas implement their different programs and seeing the results, I am more than sure that I want to focus my career in maternal and child health. Thank to Curamericas Global, I more passionate about to career and I am eager to serve the underserved communities globally.

3 Cassandra12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently volunteering at Curamericas Global, and it is the best volunteer experience I have ever had. I am a rising senior in high school, and when I started at Curamericas, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to go to college for. As I learn more about their work and impact, I become more excited and passionate about public health. Every day, I come here and feel like I am making a difference in the lives of mothers and children Curamericas serves.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My classmates and I travelled to Calhuitz, Guatemala with Curamericas Global in 2011. It was truly a mind-opening experience that I will keep with me forever. Andrew Herrera was an excellent leader both in preparing and guiding us. I highly recommend Curamericas. The experience would not have been the same without them.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to Guatemala with CurAmericas in August 2014 and it was a phenomenal experience. The trip was well planned and implemented, coordinated by two wonderful coordinators, Jane and Barbara. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn how non-profits operate in different countries. I really love the work CurAmericas does because it is culturally sensitive and leaves planning and implementation to individuals who know the community best. I love how CurAmericas empowers people in different countries to bring about sustainable change.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have volunteered on three different trips with Curamericas over the years, all to Bolivia. I have found each to be more exhilarating than the last. The organization has done incredible work in Bolivia since it's founding, saving thousands of lives. It is clear that Cuamericas is cherished in Bolivia, and the organization cherishes the people of Bolivia. They make each volunteer feel special and engaged throughout the experience, and to really see first hand the good they are doing there. I look forward to my next opportunity to serve with Cuamericas.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I completed an internship with Curamericas Global lasting two semesters of my graduate program in 2012-13. As an International Relations Master's Candidate, I was encouraged to choose a specialization based on my interests and subsequent coursework. My experience with Curamericas was essential in establishing my specialization in Global Public Health. I was afforded an opportunity to work hands-on with grant research, drafting, and subsequent monitoring and evaluation for programs in Liberia and Guatemala. The staff was supportive and provided constructive criticism which I still find helpful during my current full-time position at an international non-profit. The community-based impact-oriented approach to care and project development, and the great value placed on sustainability are two principals Curamericas reinforced in me, which are now a fundamental part of my own ideology. All-around, it was a great experience working at this non-profit!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My trip to Calhuitz, Guatemala with Curamericas in August 2014 was undoubtedly one of the best volunteer experiences I've ever had. The organization works with - rather than against - its beneficiary population to promote sustainable development, a far cry from the model followed by most NGOs. As a volunteer, Curamericas allowed me to observe and experience the realities of healthcare and development in the developing world, while simultaneously providing a program in fun, informative, and unforgettable cultural immersion.

2 Anne115

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to Bolivia with Curamericas in 2013. I was amazed to see how their programs empowered community members, especially women, to make real change at the local level, bettering conditions for themselves, their children, and future generations. There was so much respect and love showing the profound relationship with the community Curamericas has. This experience is actually what inspired me to seek a master degree in social work and public health.

3 Elizabeth168

Volunteer

Rating: 5

You can find no better group to work with than Curamericas Global. I went on a trip with them in the summer of 2012 to their site in Calhuitz, Guatemala. We worked with Mr. Andrew Herrera, whose heart for service and dedication to Curamericas brought the trip to life. With emphasis on sustainability and immersion into native cultures, this nonprofit's work truly is beneficial on a global scale. Everything was professional, from the original details about planning the trip all the way through our days in Guatemala too. I could not recommend this organization more highly!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former intern for Curamericas Global, I had the privilege of working alongside individuals who are passionate about improving the lives of women and children across the globe. What makes Curamericas unique is their use of the community-based, impact-oriented methodology. This empowers local indigenous communities and allows them to partner with existing health organizations, ensuring the success and, most importantly, the sustainability of their programs.

After my semester-long internship, I was able to see Curamericas’ work firsthand at one of their project sites in Guatemala in June, 2014. Witnessing the impact CG’s efforts on the local Mayan community was overwhelming. Before Curamericas came to Calhuitz, we were told that the Mayan women’s greatest fear was surviving their pregnancy. Curamericas Global has eliminated that fear. Because of Curamericas, women are not dying in childbirth, babies are surviving, and communities now have hope.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Originally I took my son with me on a Curamericas volunteer trip to Bolivia in 1999. We traveled again on another volunteer team a few years later. I now volunteer in the office. The volunteer trips were life changing for both my son and I! We got to see how other people live and got to witness the effects of primary healthcare. Curamericas combines a volunteer experience with results-based intervention for primary health care. The volunteer experience builds compassion and understanding of others in the volunteers. The primary health care intervention builds skills in the target community that save lives. I love this nonprofit!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Curamericas since its beginning. Before its official start I was a member of a fundraising effort in Portland, Maine where Dr. Perry was doing his Residency at Maine Medical Center. In the 30+ years since I have watched it grow from a young man's dream to and internationally respected organization.

Curamericas' unique structure delivers healthcare and health information to people in the Americas, Haiti and Africa. It also trains health workers from the host countries to be partners in their own healthcare. Its concentration on maternal and infant health has lowered death rates for mothers and babies.

Many men and women, young and older, have volunteered to build health centers or provide healthcare afor Curamericas projects. Churches and individuals from all over the USA have provided funds. Many of them have supported the work since the beginning.

As I said before Curamericas has been part of my life for many years. There have been many challenges during those years, but the steadfast belief in it's purpose and the devotion of the founders, staff, volunteers and donors have changed the lives of thousands.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has a passion for healthcare. Their operations are saving lives everyday.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had such an amazing experience volunteering with Curamericas! It was great to see what an awesome impact this organization has around the world. The experience has certainly impacted my life and glad to be a part of a great organization!

3 Laura219

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Curamericas is an amazing non-profit that is doing more than just providing healthcare to parts of the world that needs help. Curamericas is educating women and children and providing the resources needed to create sustainable healthcare.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was the most impressed with how Curamericas worked within the community and local doctors to find out the needs of the area prior to establishing projects and beginning work. The worked closely with the locals to incorporate and combine modern technology to help with medical needs and local cultural practices to not lead to a loss of culture

Comments ( 1 )

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Curamericas Global 06/30/2010

Thank you - we love our volunteers!