Our health promoters (promotoras de salud) have two jobs. The first is to treat the common illnesses and injuries that occur within their rural communities. The second and perhaps more difficult responsibility is to share what they have learned with fellow community members and establish themselves as confident leaders from whom people will seek health information.
Sacred Valley Health/ Ayni Wasi recently hosted its first leadership training course, which was created and led by registered nurses Mary Underwood and Jenny Beth Jordan. The goals were to provide an opportunity for the promotoras to identify and build strong leadership qualities, and to practice their presentation skills.
Leticia Huanca, our head nurse, started the workshop by describing leadership qualities. Not only do true leaders possess confidence and respect for their companions, but they are also honest in all of their work.
The promotoras then practiced “power poses,” in which strong body language fosters the person’s sense of self confidence. In addition to bringing a huge smile to everyone’s face, these poses are a way for our promoters to boost their own confidence before speaking to audiences in their communities.
After watching demonstrations of effective and ineffective presentation techniques, each health promoter gave a practice presentation on something he or she knows how to do well (such as how to prepare ahí, a Peruvian salsa). It was an great opportunity for the promoters to work on public speaking skills together in a supportive environment.
Do you remember how nervous you were before your first performance or speech in front of a crowd? Many of our health promoters are developing their public speaking ability for the first time. With the support of SVH/ Ayni Wasi and each other, their skill not only as healers but also as leaders will continue to grow, and they will continue to build their authority in their communities.
– Written by Community Coordinator Josselyn Agura