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2017 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

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to volunteer with Curamericas on two trips to Guatemala so far. The organization empowers the local communities and the local people. The love and support the people that aren't being noticed. I will continue to support and go on trips with them in the future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the amazing opportunity to intern for Curamericas Global in 2017. The staff is extremely passionate and dedicated to the organization and its mission of providing sustainable healthcare for women and children in forgotten communities. Globally, the great work they do promotes change and helps communities create a lasting difference. Their approach to community-based healthcare, partnering with local communities, is what makes this nonprofit so inspiring. It’s a privilege to be able to work here and I’m excited to see what the future holds for myself here at this wonderful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and have gone on a mission trip with this organization. My trip far exceeded my expectations from the start. Everyone I encountered welcomed me with open arms and if I could id go back in a heartbeat. This organization helped me find my passion for helping others that are in need.

Su'Vanna D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Curamericas Global is a compelling organization that is evidence-based and compassion driven. Their innovative approach really saves lives! Around the world, people are leading healthier happier lives because of Curamericas! I am excited to continue my internship and do all that I can for this wonderful organization.

Purva T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Curamericas is a wonderful organization that saves the lives of mothers and children in underserved communities. This organization has been so helpful in their partner communities by providing health services and community education.
Their work makes a huge impact and works to directly with these communities so that these programs are sustainable for the future. It’s a privilege to intern for this organization and work with their staff. If you’re looking for an organization to support, you’re in the right place!

Irem U.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'd like to share what comes to mind when I think about what a strong global non-profit organization is and why Curamericas meets all of my criteria. To me, a strong organization is one that considers, researches, and measures the needs of the populations they wish to help rather than assuming that their intervention is needed. A strong organization takes into account the reality that "our way" of doing things isn't applicable everywhere and then takes the steps necessary to work WITH a community rather than FOR it. And because of this, a strong organization educates populations and integrates locals in order to provide sustainable, long-lasting change and improvement in a community. Curamericas fits my idea of a strong non-profit organization perfectly. They are not a "one and done"/quick-fix type of organization that makes an appearance in a community and never follows-up. Curamericas genuinely cares for the people they reach and models their work in such a way that communities can benefit from the organization's services and partnerships long after the volunteers have left. Curamericas is an exemplary organization in every way!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Curamericas Global is a great organization that works hard to save the life of women and children in local communities across the globe. They use methods that will aid the community well beyond their stay by working alongside the locals. Thus, locals are able to gain skills and knowledge to help their community in the long run. Through the use of health education and prevention and promotion of health, Curamericas has shown to improve the lives of the women and children significantly. As an intern, I am glad to be working alongside people who have clear goals and want to make a significant impact on the communities they reach.

1 Nikita G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Curamericas Global, an international nonprofit, with financial and managerial support from “partner” communities, established Casas Maternas in 3 municipalities located in the isolated northwestern highlands of Guatemala—an area with high maternal mortality ratio (636 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births). Casas Maternas are maternal health facilities that provide vital health services, encourage local accountability through staffing local people and provide a safe environment where cultural norms and traditions are respected. Traditional birth attendants are encouraged to bring patients for delivery at the Casas Maternas, where trained staff are present and access to referral care is facilitated.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I feel that Curamericas is one of the few organizations that actually promotes change and development, not just charity. Instead of throwing money at a problem and hoping it will fix itself, this organization partners with communities to help them help themselves. I am very proud to be associated with Curamericas knowing first hand that they are saving lives and changing the world.

1 Sita C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with a lot of nonprofits through the years but Curamericas Global is by far one of the best organizations I've had the pleasure of working with. I had the opportunity to serve as an international volunteer and an office intern at their headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a volunteer at their site in Guatemala, I learned how healthcare was outside of the U.S and saw the great work Curamericas Global was doing abroad. Curamericas Global works hard to serve the mothers and children around the world while simultaneously showing their appreciation for their donors, volunteers, and interns. I'm proud to be a member of this organization and I will continue to support the fantastic work they do across the globe.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My fellow classmates and I went to the Curamericas Global site in Calhuitz, Guatemala in 2011 and I still hold that experience very dear to my heart. Curamericas Global is such a fantastic nonprofit organization that not only helps you give back but also helps you every step of the way from organizing your trip to interacting with the natives to ensuring your safety to enjoying your days in a new country. Through Curamericas Global, we learned about the different ways to help the kids and adults in Calhuitz as well as enjoy the Guatemalan beauty that we were constantly surrounded by. We had hands on experience with the babies by weighing them and giving them medical shots as well as help build part of a hospital for women, Casa de Materna. We also had the privilege to have such a passionate, lively, and dedicated person of service like Andrew Herrera to guide, protect and mentor us throughout our trip in Guatemala. Curamericas Global educates people of the healthcare in other countries and strives to improve it in areas like Guatemala, Bolivia and Haiti. I am so thankful I got to be a part of Curamericas Global and this organization gave me an experience that I still happily reflect on to this day.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was excited to spend my time immediately after college graduation with Curamericas staff, learning about program development in maternal and child health projects in Guatemala. The staff is remarkable; they do the work of a staff of 20+, eve though they were only a staff of 6 when I was there. I also really loved their model, where they train community health workers in their project country sites in order to encourage local human capital and create sustainability in their programming. I really respect the work they are doing and hope to contribute more.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Curamericas offers a hand-up for marginalized populations across the globe. I was privileged to take part in a recent trip to the Guatemalan Highlands for a maternal and infant health project. Saving the lives of mothers keeps the family intact and ultimately helps the community in a very systemic way. The work they do is life changing not only for the people of Guatemala, but for those that travel with them as well.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an intern with Curamericas Global during the Spring 2016 semester, I really enjoyed working on meaningful projects with all staff members. Everyone on staff was passionate about the organization and strived to improve maternal and child health, as well as other program areas, in the regions where they worked. It was a great experience with dedicated staff with a passion for progress!

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.