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In El Salvador, TOMS Giving Partner AmeriCares distributes new TOMS Shoes to children to add value to their work, particularly in promoting good health practices in rural communities. AmeriCares believes that teaching people how to help children thrive and stay healthy is an investment that will pay off in better community health for years to come.
AmeriCares team in El Salvador works every day to empower people to practice good health and hygiene and to seek out ways of healthier living. In 2003, AmeriCares opened a full-service family health clinic in rural Santiago de María, the organization’s first clinic outside the U.S. The facility provides quality primary and specialty health care services to underserved families from many regions of El Salvador.
“Good health is essential to a thriving community,” explained AmeriCares’ Marta Cruz. “At our clinic, we work to educate people in the community to care for themselves and their families.”
The clinic is also an important source of health information for the community. Clinic employees encourage residents of Santiago de Maria to identify health issues they would like to learn more about, then the staff holds community health fairs on those topics. Last year, more than 45,000 people attended health education events on nutrition, diabetes, hypertension, prenatal care and prevention of chronic diseases and infections and more.
AmeriCares believes that educational outreach is a critical component of primary health care, strengthening disease prevention in the communities served by the clinic. It is through education events that new TOMS are distributed to children whose parents attend the fairs. Combined with quality education on health issues, AmeriCares has seen that TOMS are having positive impact in the communities and schools where they are distributed.
“When TOMS are given at our community health fairs, we are seeing improved attendance at our health fairs, which is leading to improved health in Santiago de Maria,” Marta said.
Because of incredible organizations such as AmeriCares that distribute TOMS to children, the One for One movement is having a lasting impact on communities around the world through health, education and self-esteem. It is through our Giving Partners’ diverse integrative programming that TOMS is able to participate in responsible and sustainable giving.
This blog post was written by the staff at TOMS Shoes and published here in their TOMS Stories blog on December 4, 2013. AmeriCares is a TOMS Shoes Giving Partner, distributing new shoes to children in need in several countries around the world.