NIMECHNEQUI

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Health and Healing Program: Special Needs
HEROS OF THE HEART
HEROS OF THE HEART
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SUMMARY

The Nimechnequi Special Needs Program provides enabling support to children and elderly living in acute poverty in Tlamacazapa, Mexico. Each week Atzin health promoters carry out many activities such as home visits; accompaniment and transport to medical appointments; distribution of vitamin and food supplements, medications and equipment; organization of dental visits; integration into Tihueliske Education; and distribution of clothing and goods. The program strengthens families' abilities to provide better quality of life for those with special needs.

CHALLENGE

The Nahua villagers earn a meager living by weaving palm baskets and selling them to tourists throughout Mexico. Laboratory studies revealed toxic metals in their water, soil, palm dyes and clay cooking pots. These toxins produce a silent crisis of slow poisoning. Many children are undernourished, suffering from low levels of chronic toxicity, and often do poorly in school. The majority of adult women are illiterate. Macho male attitudes, alcoholism and domestic violence seriously affect daily life.

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SOLUTION

People with special needs need special attention. Living in acute poverty is tough; coping with a specific health condition is even more difficult, especially for families with small children or living with insecurity or violence. Atzin promoters, all young local women, offer enabling attention each week under the supervision of Atzin staff. Their activities range from medications; food & vitamin supplements; and accompaniment; to logistical and transport arrangements; information; and document preparation.

LONG-TERM IMPACT

The Nimechnequi Special Needs Program works with families that have children or elderly with serious health challenges, most on a longer-term basis. Recognizing the many difficulties of living with a disability in a rural area with few or no nearby services, Atzin’s goal is to help them meet their daily needs and to contribute an improved quality of life.

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