Thursday, July 22, 2010

VHT elections

Tuesday, we had a sensitization on patient rights as well as our VHT elections. People started showing up after a burial of an older woman that took place in the early afternoon. At first, I was surprised by the turn out. I didn’t see any of the regulars…meaning those (mostly women) who came to our sensitizations. The LC1 was there as well as Eliasa, our mobilizer, and a handful of men who are friends with a guy named Amos. Amos was first introduced to us when we were moving throughout the village. He seemed well respected at first, but soon we began to hear that maybe he wasn’t a man true to his word and of good character. He didn’t show up to a single sensitization after the initial meeting, but here he was at our elections with a group of his friends. Great. We were concerned that perhaps the VHT would not be a good representation of those interested in our work, but of mere figure heads that liked the idea of being on the committee…probably in hopes of some type of financial incentive, which of course we don’t give. Good thing we had a drama on patient rights because it lasted around and hour or so and as a result gave time for more of our regulars to show up and those tired of waiting that weren’t genuinely interested to filter out. The drama was entertaining, as usual and drew a good crowd. By the end the rain had started and the people gathered beneath the mango tree. Nominations for the VHT were shouted out and we tried to write them all down. Some weren’t even there…Amos’s name ended up on the list. By the end 30 names were volunteered, a good start to what will most likely eventually be around 10 or 15 once everything is said and done. We have training on Monday and Tuesday of next week, which not all will be able to make and then after they start working with UVP on a regular basis we’ve been told some will drop out from lack of time and then some will drop off because of lack of incentive. All in all, I think we have a good group that will naturally evolve into an even better group of leaders who can inspire change in the community…only time will tell.

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