Update on PROJIMO
Update 1: PROJIMO Coyotitan and Duranguito
Both PROJIMO programs, in their new, more accessible locations of Coyotitan and Duranguito, north of Mazatlan, Mexico, have been greatly extending their outreach. This is true not only for service coverage, but also spreading the message and methodology of Community Based Rehabilitation in which disabled persons themselves take the lead.
Part of this outreach is through exchanges with other non-governmental community programs. But increasingly, different government initiatives—municipal, state and national—are taking increased interest in learning from PROJIMO and applying its approach more widely.
At the same time, both PROJIMO programs have recently been receiving more assistance from the local and state government in building new, much needed facilities. Especially important in this regard are guest quarters, now that the number of apprentices (mostly disabled) from other programs is increasing.
The PROJIMO Rehabilitation Program in Coyotitan has received 10 brand new computers from the local government. These are being used not only for communication with a network of other programs, but also for income generating activities, including training of village girls and a “cyber-cafe.”
The PROJIMO Skills Training and Children’s Wheelchair Program in Duranguito has made a real breakthrough in terms of convincing the health and rehabilitation establishment that children need and have a right to wheelchairs and equipment that actually fit them and help them function better. Requests for personalized wheelchairs and—more important—request to help train local teams of disabled wheelchair builders, are now coming in from several states.
Both government and private donors are helping PROJIMO Duranguito with part of the cost of building its new workshops and quarters on land donated by the village. Efrain Zamora—a helper at PROJIMO since he was a boy and who has recently been studying alternative architecture, is helping to design low-cost, environmentally friendly buildings.
Update 2: A Meeting and Network of Programs and Mediators Assisted by Stichting Liliane Fonds (SLF)
For many years children assisted by PROJIMO have received financial help from Liliane Foundation in Holland (SLF) in meeting their disability-related needs. Two of PROJIMO’s long-time disabled leaders, Mari Picos and Gabriel Zepeda, are now “mediators” with Liliane in this process.
Over the years, PROJIMO has helped or inspired a number of other community rehab programs to get started in various parts of Mexico. Many of these programs now also get help for disabled children through SLF.
In March, 2003, Hortensia Uribe Sierra, Latin American coordinator from SLF, visited SLF-assisted programs in Mexico. With the help of David Werner and Dolores Vicencio of PROESA, she organized an “Ecuentro” (Encounter), inviting all of the Mexican SLF mediators. Hortenisa and David also visited several of the six SLF-assisted programs.
Update 3: Revival of the CBR Network
The Encuentro, held at the PROESA CBR program in Michoacan, was very productive in terms of sharing methods and arranging future interaction. It was agreed that different programs have different skills and strengths. We all have a lot to learn from each other. We decided to reactivate a network of Community Rehab Programs that we had started years ago but had gradually disappeared due to economic constraints.
To get the ball rolling, we made plans for several cross program apprenticeships. In fact, for the past 3 months a young man from PROESA who is parapelegic, Jose Luis, has been at PROJIMO learning to make wheelchairs—with the idea of opening a wheelchair shop in Michoacan and training others.
Also the idea of the Network or “RED” has been taken up and is being spearheaded by other groups, with the help of the NGO ‘VAMOS’ in Mexico City. At last CBR seems to be taking off in Mexico!
Life After Injury by Liz Hobbs et al.
An excellent new handbook about the management, therapy, and ways of coping with traumatic injury (including landmine trauma). Introduction by David Werner. See enclosed flyer, or our site: www.healthwrights.org.
Politics of Health Knowledge Network
HealthWrights’ new interactive website, which analyzes the man-made and macroeconomic causes of poor health, and explores healthier, more equitable alternatives. See www.politicsofhealth.org.
PROJIMO Spanish Language Training Program
The intensive Spanish language training program taught by disabled instructors at PROJIMO is a great way to learn the language and volunteer in a unique community-based program. See the flyer or e-mail: PROJIMO_AC@hotmail.com
How You Can Help
Workshop Construction Volunteers
Volunteers with building skills or simply willing to work hard are needed for help in the construction of PROJIMO Duranguito’s new workshops, using innovative, bio-friendly architecture.
Contribute to Our Politics of Health Website
Help with Politics of Health Website is very much needed. We need help with everything from collecting information to organizing data, to website management. Volunteer from your home. Contact Shefali Gupta at email@example.com.
Spread the Word About Our Spanish Language Program
Spread the word about PROJIMO’s Spanish language training program, and help recruit students. This will help generate income for the program and the disabled instructors.
Make a Donation
Please make a donation. These groundbreaking activities urgently need funding assistance, to help others help themsleves.