Project Launch: 2-8-16
This project will create a youth clubhouse adjacent to the Carlos Fonseca Health Center to provide a safe and private space for youth to discuss sensitive health topics and seek advice among their peers and health center staff. The project aims to address the reluctance of the local youth to seek health services, due to a lack of a private space. The clubhouse will be a block away from the local high school, in order to encourage active participation and involvement.
Project Update: 5/2/16
A local carpenter is busy constructing the clubhouse, which will be finished over the next few weeks. In the meantime, the youth are actively raising local support and funds for the clubhouse through word of mouth and community raffles.
Final Report: 7/1/16
The community now has a fully functioning club house. Although initially there were problems with fundraising the money needed to pay the carpenter, with the help from several nurses and hospital staff during the process, they were able to obtain the necessary funds. One project goal was to override negative stigma in the community surrounding mental health. There remains a widespread belief that if people see a psychologist, they are crazy but the volunteer and project leader have been working to change this by working with a hospital psychologist to talk with the youth about problems related alcohol, drugs, and communication. Slowly, the stigma is dissipating and by the third session, the conversation has become dramatically more open and communicative. The second goal of the project, focused on distributing condoms from the new club house, will take time as the youth are still developing trust with local health workers. While work is ongoing, the club house has enabled all parties to make strides in challenging negative perceptions about hospital-patient communication and various aspects of physical and mental health.
"This project will bring together kids in the Carlos Fonseca community and beyond to work and learn from medical staff and community leaders, to build projects and ideas in order to strengthen and better the community." - Juan, Project Leader
"The club house will unite our group and I think more kids will be interested in working with us after we finish. We have more support now than before." - Project Participant