With the support of the Yakima Valley Community Foundation, PPGWNI’s Promotores de Salud program was able to achieve significant outcomes and increase their impact in the Yakima Valley. The program grew not only in the number of Promotores de Salud (Promoters of Health) but also in the geographic reach and structure of the program’s lessons and presentations. As outlined in the proposal, the beginning of the year was dedicated to the recruitment and training of new peer educators. Outreach into the community resulted in four dedicated volunteers that went through an intensive 3-month training process to learn the content, lessons, and facilitation skills needed to be a community health peer educator. All current and new Promotores were required to attend the trainings as part of ongoing professional development. Three of the volunteers finished the training and joined the experienced cohort of Promotores in their work out in the community. Plans are already underway to host open houses and other outreach efforts to share with the community what the Promotores do in Yakima.
Throughout the year, curriculum and resources were expanded and formalized into 8 session units that can be presented as a comprehensive set or individually to community members and organizations. Topics include Healthy Relationships, Breast Health, STIs, HIV, Birth Control Methods, Puberty, and Parent Communication. Materials were upgraded to include the most up to date information, youth development frameworks, and accompanying tools to support participants after they leave the presentation.
Another great achievement thanks to these funds was the facilitation of our second annual Jovenes Sanos program. It was held over the summer and included 16 youth and additional parent programs and engagement. Topics were structured around the 8 week units described above and included activities and information from a youth perspective. All of our Promotores were trained in a youth development framework before helping to facilitate programming and were excited about the opportunity to work directly with youth. We again partnered with La Casa Hogar in Yakima who served as the host site for the program. Together we were able to offer much needed and age appropriate programming to the youth community and their families.
Throughout the year the Promotores reached well over the expected number of Yakima area contacts. Throughout 2015 the Promotores had 2,334 participants ranging from small informal conversations up to full 8-week presentation sessions. These participants were part of 768 programs totaling almost 600 hours of facilitation and learning. The Promotores continue their community outreach in one-on-one conversations and house parties while also working to formalize their efforts into presentations with more community based organizations. This has been increasing successful in the lower Yakima valley where Promotores have presented at Lower Valley Crisis & Support Services, Grandview and Mabton School Districts, Planned Parenthood Health Centers, and partnered with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in giving dual presentations to community members.
Outreach has taken on new meaning for the Promotores this year as they continue their mission of bringing sexual health information to their community. One such medium was spearheaded by one of our Promotores who has created her own radio show on La Marketa Radio. She is known as Enerida while on air and will share sexual health and relationship resources as well as guest interviews entirely in Spanish for the community. The Promotores have also launched their own Facebook page to promote their community presentations and help spread accurate and necessary health information to our community.
You can learn more about Planned Parenthood on their website.