Project HEART

The Problem

Project HEART (Health, Education, and Agriculture for Regional Development), a student-led initiative is to enhance the strength of developing communities in the areas of public health and food security by partnering with local leaders to integrate the relevant expertise of American universities with local knowledge and customs. We aim to empower communities for sustainable change rather than providing for their needs temporarily. Significant change must be accomplished from the bottom up through education and skills development. Community members will participate actively in the development of the project and its implementation with an emphasis on building strong educational foundations enabling members of the local community to sustain the programs.

Plan of Action

Project HEART will be implemented in phases. Phase I will include foundational initiatives in each development sector that lay the groundwork for meaningful impact. These will include, in the public health sector: education in basic medical science, technical training in medical skills, and the creation of a portable ECT device, and in the food security sector: enhancing local animal production practices and methods of sustainable agriculture. Phase II will include, in the public health sector, an expansion of the diagnostic laboratory into an international hub for medical research which will support mobile health clinics traveling around the region. In the food security sector, the animal production program will be expanded and a small scale irrigation system will be developed. Longer term initiatives will also include building educational institutions to empower local populations and expanding the model to neighboring communities in and around Ethiopia.

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