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Health Clinic Transitions to Local Support

Community Friends started the health clinic in 2007. We have been able to establish regular care for hundreds of villagers who are geographically challenged to health care access due to the remote rural location of the tea plantation village. Our resources are limited and we have been able to operate one clinic day each month. The demand is obviously much greater. 


The good news is that one of the neighboring tea plantations is now helping with the clinic by supplying a full-time nurse practitioner as well as a nurse midwife who visits during the month. This is a wonderful step up in the quality of life for the village. And it is also consistent with the philosophy of Community Friends to seed a project and get it started with the hope that the project will transition into local support. We used the same process with our school lunch program. That program is now administered by the local government. By seeding projects that the community has identified and communicated to us as key areas for assistance, we are able to establish a successful working pilot model. Once the pilot has proven success, it is easy to transition the program to local support. This frees up Community Friends’ resources to then begin seeding a new pilot project. 

This process is at the core of the Community Friends philosophy.  It is also a way for Community Friends to create long-term relationships of trust in the community. We always work from the bottom up in collaboration with the communities we serve. We prefer to operate our programs on a human scale to ensure meaningful relationships and minimize unintended consequences. Our experience with the health clinic has created trust and improved lives…even saved lives in the case of Latha’s baby. We constantly see lives changed through our work and this is at the root of the human experience of helping each other.

Carsten Henningsen