Health & Well-being

Health & Well-being

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Join this week’s Open Dialogue to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities faced by people working to promote health, well-being and care.

Connect, collaborate, and turn ideas into action!

  1. 854 days ago

    Jacquie Cutts

    The organization I run, Safe Mothers, Safe Babies, has been working in rural Uganda to improve maternal and neonatal health. We have been operating for five years, using a model of “participatory development,” in which we work with local communities to define maternal and child health in their terms, then leverage community engagement and ingenuity to identify both structural and cultural barriers to health, and develop long-term, community-sustainable solutions to both types of barriers. With a recent 200% growth in funding and a 700% growth in direct beneficiaries, in addition to multiple requests for breadth and depth scale-ups, we are excited to be in a crucial transition phase. Our current opportunity (and challenge) is creating what we feel will be the first highly scalable model of participatory development in rural maternal and child health.

    The biggest obstacle we face is gaining access to the seed capital (estimated at $115k over the next two years) to finance key functional strategies essential to our planned growth, compounded by our lack of 501c3 status and inability to find the right pro-bono help to fix this problem. A primary frustration is that many funders only want to invest in strategies with immediate, easily measurable impact–for example, promoting clean birthing kits by putting them in rural health centers and measuring their use and pre- and post-intervention rates of infection. These are important, but they also don’t address the real “systems-based” root of the problems that contribute to poor maternal and child health. A comprehensive approach is needed, but such an approach would require a little extra time to prove impact and would be much harder to prove causation. My question for discussion is: How do we change the conversation with donors to be one about quality, and not just quantity? And how can I personally access resources like legal advice and/or mentorship in subjects like incorporation, financial management, taxes, etc. (I have been using my Changeshop already! :-) …).

    Jacquie Cutts

  2. 854 days ago

    Riun Blackwell

    Hi Kids from Riun in Squamish
    I’m progressing with my food service with cooperation of the New Hope Kitchen. I will be recieving a couple of hundred meals per week and a bunch of soups delivered to my home depot starting in mid September. There has been a great success in our first venture into our local Seniors residence. I plan to develop service locally but the aspect of a public retail outlet is daunting due to overhead. I’m setting up a few freezers in my shack as a beginning phase. I should be have the capacity to store the few hundred meals and soupies. I have had a positive response from the womens center and numerous individuals. I hope to set up a local volunteer delivery network. Of course the integrity of the frozen state is paramount.
    In my next promotional stage I plan to head up the Sea To Sky Highway to Whistler and Pemberton. Delivery up there is an issue and I hope to get a reefer truck to accomodate this. Setting up local depots is crutial of course. I’ve been developing contact with the Mount Currie Band in this regard. I really need some smart kids to write grants and am searching locally through Inside Edge and Quest University. This is an outline of where I’m at now. I am very reluctant to form a board and get a bunch of deadweight in this effort. I’m wondering about a structure that will allow effective efficient decision making and active participation. Hope this serves as an introduction. Riun Blackwell

    • April Dutheil

      Thanks for the post. I wanted to answer your question about which venture structure is best to choose. Starting September 10th (for the entire week) Sheila Evani who works specifically in the field of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship law will be available to take questions about ideal structures for social change initiatives. She’s fantastic and will be covering the wide range of structures available in Canada and what type of venture is suited for each. Her Twitter is @SGevani and her website is

      839 days ago

  3. 855 days ago

    Our Local Markets

    Here is a good report about the local health (Vancouver Island Health Authority — Alberni Region):

    The report says that in 2011, Alberni had the second highest rate of diabetes in the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Diabetes is closely tied to the food that we eat (and don’t eat).

  4. 855 days ago

    Our Local Markets

    I think people are beginning to understand that healthy food is a prescription for good health. I see people looking for food that tastes good and fills a nutritional need. Many people are placing “quality” above “cost.”

    Some of the ingredients found in food in the supermarket can cause serious health issues, i.e. aspartame, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. More and more people are reading labels and saying “no thanks” to processed food.

    In a very true sense, we are what we eat.

    Our Local Markets recognises the need for better access to healthy food. Some of the people that are most in need of healthy food are located in very remote areas. Our Local Markets is making it our business to serve those communities.

  5. 856 days ago

    Sarah Mintz

    Welcome Community Builders! Please tell us about your work. What are the trends, challenges and opportunities that you are experiencing?