Transformation is the ultimate goal of all the work GUIMEDIC does.
To GUIMEDIC, transformation means lasting change that includes entire communities. We believe that to create this lasting change, we must recognize that the overall wellbeing is generated through a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual health. For that reason, besides carrying out preventative medicine and medical consultations, GUIMEDIC also puts together strategic initiatives and events to support the other aspects of health and wellness of the communities we serve. One of such events that we wanted to introduce on this blog post today is what we call Backpacks of Hope.
Backpacks of Hope provides over 100 children and their families from one indigenous community every year with an incredible Christmas experience. Children and their mothers and fathers all receive fun and thoughtful gifts, and each family is provided with a care package full of food, vitamins, hygienic supplies, and in the case of the 2020 pandemic, face masks.
Months before this event occurs, during GUIMEDIC’s routine visits to the selected community, volunteers work with the children to have an arts and crafts activity where the child’s name, age, sex, and Christmas wish-list are drawn onto paper. Volunteers help the children to dream big and name specific toys they may want, because when left to do it by themselves, they will often only ask for shoes, clothing, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
Because GUIMEDIC is able to acquire information about roughly how many families and family members there are in each community they serve to keep track of patients, medications, and impact, it is rare that any child or family goes without receiving gifts on the day they are given out. In that unlikely situation, extras are always brought just in case.
Toys are placed inside a backpack for each child with their names on it along with clothing and some school and hygienic supplies. We do our best to account for each and every thing that each child has asked for and try to include it in their backpacks. In previous years, we have found that many children prefer to give up their toys and trade them for school supplies, so now they are provided with both. On the day the backpacks and care packages are given out, GUIMEDIC brings extra volunteers to set up piñatas, coordinate games with the children, play music, and cut and distribute cake to everyone. All of what is provided for Backpacks of Hope is thanks to generous donations of time, money, and supplies from the amazing community that supports GUIMEDIC (you!).
By providing experiences such as this to the wonderful people that we serve, we see that our relationships with them are strengthened. Building trust with each community by showing them that we truly care about every detail of their lives, not just treating their physical ailments, opens a door for GUIMEDIC to be able to provide even better for them. When those we serve trust us, we see that during consultations they are able to open up and be more honest about what is bothering them. We are then able to provide medical care that is even more fit for their specific and unique situation, which creates more of the lasting change that we so love to see.
Acts of kindness and sacrifice tell people that they are valuable, that they matter, that they are worthy of amazing things, and that GUIMEDIC truly cares about them. That is what Backpacks of Hope is all about.