The goal of this project is to provide an income to a Casa Materna in a mid-sized city in Nicaragua. Casa Maternas are established throughout the country to provide medical
services to pregnant women including prenatal care, medically supervised delivery, and well baby care. The federal government provides basic support for the facilities but the one targeted by this project is underfunded. It lacks sufficient food and basic supplies for the patients who frequently have to share beds.
The project director, Anna Steeves-Reece of Eugene, is collaborating with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health to start a mill business at this Casa Materna. In the target area mills are extremely popular because people grind their corn, cacao, and coffee on a daily basis. At present, the neighborhood in question does not have a mill business and residents have expressed enthusiasm for establishing one.
With a steady source of income for the Casa Materna, the staff could strengthen the nutrition, health education, and general comfort for the women staying there. Moreover, many women would have increased motivation to come to the Casa Materna instead of giving birth in their homes. The health center has offered to build an annex for the business, and through the Peace Corps Partnership Program Anna is hoping to fund the purchase of an electric mill.
A portion of the funds for this award came from distributions of the Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund which was created with generous gifts to WCPCA and whose sole purpose is to support humanitarian programs. Beryl was a PCV in Afghanistan (1967-69), a founding member of WCPCA, and one of its most tireless leaders for over twenty years. The awards given in her name will honor her legacy of fighting poverty and building peace.