Senegal Health Institute

dōTERRA Wellness Advocates establish health institute in Africa, reach out to the dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation™ for support

Since 2015, the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation has cultivated a relationship with the Senegal Health Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health-care services in the Casamance region of Senegal, West Africa. doTERRA Wellness Advocate Jill Dieme and her husband Atab founded the Senegal Health Institute in hopes of improving the lives of families in Kafountine, Senegal—Atab’s birthplace. With the help of Jill’s friend and doTERRA Wellness Advocate, Corinna Barrus, the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation has become involved in a matching donation program that will allow the Senegal Institute to continue to grow. 

Among many things, the Senegal Institute focuses on helping pregnant women and mothers in an endeavor to maintain good health before, during, and after giving birth. By educating people about reproductive health, safe birthing practices, and planning for a family, the institute can create more secure birth environments that give both mothers and children a better chance of not only surviving, but living healthy lives. The Senegal Health Institute also provides medical supplies and equipment that allow the people of Kafountine and other villages to further improve their wellbeing, particularly when it comes to childbirth. 

In an effort to help the Senegal Health Institute’s cause, Corinna reached out to the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation about doing a matching program that would allow the institute to build facilities to aid the clinic in treating the people of this community. Initially, the matching contribution consisted of $25,000 from the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, providing a grand total of $50,000 in funds for the clinic. Since this initial donation, other matching campaigns from the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation have provided additional funds that will allow the clinic to grow. As a friend of Jill’s and someone who has worked closely with midwives, nurses, and pregnant mothers, Corinna feels drawn to the institute and its mission. 
The monetary contributions provided by the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation have helped the Senegal Health Institute build three volunteer houses, an education building, a kitchen, and a storehouse. The volunteer houses will provide accommodations for volunteers who come to help at the clinic or other humanitarian projects in the area. This housing makes the efforts of the clinic more sustainable—providing a place for volunteers to come and help with the great needs of Kafountine and other areas in the Casamance region. 
Many of the services offered at the Senegal Health Institute are not widely available in other areas, which is why the institute strives to support women and families with amenities that they desperately need. The clinic trains birth attendants and midwives in the area, provides medical equipment and supplies, and helps with other areas of health care that may be lacking due to poverty and living conditions. The vision of the institute is to provide women with education about pregnancy, birth control, and giving birth. This education process aims to empower women to have better family planning, which will result in improved health for themselves and their children. 
By educating local birth professionals and the mothers themselves, the Senegal Health Institute hopes to provide women with a chance for better health throughout their journey of motherhood—before, during, and after the birth takes place. Corinna says, “I have always wanted to do good with the resources of time, money, and influence that I have, and I am grateful that the Healing Hands Foundation and Senegal Health Institute have given me this opportunity.” 
Corrina has seen the influence that the clinic can have in an area where families and mothers are struggling with poverty, disease, and a lack of resources and care. She says, “Without the Healing Hands Foundation, none of this would be possible. The impact of doTERRA's donation is huge. We are able to move forward with the vision and plans immediately, gain the support of other doTERRA leaders, and get this project done.” 
For more information about this project, please see this article about Senegal Health Institute.

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