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People we supported
STORIESFrom West Africa to New York City
Adapting to life in New York has been a challenging experience for this artist from West Africa. He once worked as a sculptor and painter who used mixed materials to build large public installations. He was falsely accused of plotting against his government and subsequently arrested and tortured. With the assistance of HealthRight’s Human Rights Clinic, he is currently receiving legal counsel and guidance through the process of seeking asylum in the United States. Currently, he works in New York City as a cab driver. Though he is continually inspired by his new surroundings, the high cost of living and a demanding work schedule leave little time for artwork. He expresses a deep longing for the days in Burkina Faso when he supported himself solely on his artwork, and hopes that asylum will help provide the security he needs to once again earn a living through art.
STORIESOfficer Arthur Rainsh
Officer Arthur Rainsh has been a community police officer for over seventeen years. He has drawn upon his extensive experience to train other police officers on ways to best serve their communities. This is difficult in Kiev, amidst a high tide of street-involved youth, drug use, and domestic violence. At the Criminal Police Office for Children, Officer Rainsh has developed and implemented several series of trainings to help fellow police officers understand the structural barriers that street-involved youth face daily. With HealthRight’s help, he has been able to develop an intersectoral manual of best practices for police officers and other service providers. Officer Rainsh has devoted his career to identifying ways to improve the lives of street-involved youth.
When Dhundi Ram was a young boy, his mother fell sick and spent the last days of her life in a small clinic over 300 kilometers away from their home. Dhundi always resented the fact that his mother had to travel so far for basic services that could have saved her life had they been closer. In 1982, Dhundi donated land belonging to his family for several generations, to be used for the first and only health clinic in Khana today. In the 32 years since, he has visited the clinic every day to check on his investment. HealthRight has helped Dhundi’s efforts to prevent maternal and child fatalities by purchasing equipment for the clinic and by providing staff trainings. Dhundi is grateful to HealthRight for supporting his vision of improving health and safety in the community of Khana. At 82 years old, Dhundi says that he refuses to die until the Khana community health post is transformed into a full-fledged hospital with emergency care and a maternity ward.
While under surveillance by the Pakistani government for publicly advocating for women’s rights, Dr. Seema suffered a brutal acid attack and numerous other types of torture carried out to punish her political views. She was lucky to make it out of Pakistan alive, but even after arriving in New York, her struggle was far from over. HealthRight stepped in to arrange for Dr. Seema to receive physical and psychological forensic evaluations. These helped support her claim for asylum, which was successfully granted.
Lucy Kapechwa, a traditional birth attendant in the village of Lelan, Kenya, is on her way home from work. Lucy was trained by her mother to attend births in the community, and now Lucy is teaching her own daughter to do the same. In order to address high instances of maternal death in her community, she is now working with the local clinic and HealthRight trained and supported Community Health Workers to broaden the traditional responsibilities of a home birth attendant. In addition to delivering babies in homes, Lucy can also bring mothers to the clinic and combine the modern techniques of trained nurses and doctors with her own extensive experience attending births.
Sita Gaire went into labor three months early. She arrived six months pregnant at the nearest HealthRight-supported facility, where she gave birth in a safe and secure environment. The baby was born underweight, a common result of preterm birth, and placed under critical observation upon delivery. Luckily, after careful attention by service providers, he was deemed healthy soon afterward. In this photo, Sita is waiting for nurses to return from the neonatal unit with her son, so she can hold him for the first time.
Salina Kangogo has traveled 150 kilometers to the maternity waiting home at the Ortum Mission Hospital built by HealthRight. Her first child was delivered at home, as is common in her village. Her second pregnancy was more difficult. After experiencing abnormal pains, she consulted a community health worker who explained the increased risks and encouraged Salina to go to the hospital in Ortum where she could safely stay until delivery. Salina went, despite superstitious rumors from her friends. Shortly after arriving, she went into early labor and doctors discovered that the baby was poorly positioned and becoming distressed. They moved quickly to deliver the baby through Caesarian section and, despite some complications, Salina gave birth to a healthy daughter named Lineth. Now, Salina is pregnant with her third child, and has no doubts about moving to the maternity waiting home for care throughout her third trimester and delivery.
After graduating from university, Olena found a job and rented a house in Kiev. However, a violent conflict with her mother sent her on a downward spiral, during which she lost her job, struggled to pay her rent and found herself in situations where she was at risk for HIV and hepatitis. Olena sought care at the HealthRight drop-in center where she received free HIV testing and counseling. She began to meet regularly with the drop-in center psychologist and also enrolled in the empowerment training program for women who have experienced violence. Over time, she began to feel more emotionally stable. When the military conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine, Olena felt motivated to make a positive difference. She joined the Ukrainian voluntary army and became a medical assistant in the Luhansk region. She returns to the clinic on her days off to visit her counselors and friends.
HealthRight International empowers marginalized communities to live healthy lives.