Sunday, May 15 marks the International Day of Families. The family is rooted in everything we do at Hope Through Healing Hands, and our mission to promote improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace. The family is where life starts, marking the cornerstone of health and prosperity. A strong family indicates a strong future for both the individual and the community.
I’m honored to be traveling in China this week on behalf of Hope Through Healing Hands as a member of the Global Board of Directors for The Nature Conservancy. We will be spending eight days at the intersection of global health and nature, conservation and climate. Climate change disproportionately affects the most vulnerable people in the world, and I’m looking forward to learning more about how we can help both conservation efforts and global health.
It seems to me that global surgery, or really any work in a resource-poor country, requires a different type of intelligence to be successful. Indeed, it requires ingenuity, the ability to think outside the box at nearly every level to make do with the resources available. This has been demonstrated to me over and over again for the last four weeks here in Kijabe, Kenya.
One of the first ex-laps I did here in Kijabe was a planned gastrectomy on a 74-year-old female for gastric cancer. She was thin and frail and had progressive difficulty with eating for over a year now with resultant profound weight loss. I feared the worst when I felt her abdomen after she had been put to sleep; when she was fully relaxed, you could feel a large mass in her upper abdomen.
"One may observe in one's travels to distant countries the feelings of recognition and affiliation that link every human being to every other human being." – Aristotle

At the age of nineteen I scribbled this quote on the inside cover of a journal I kept while interning at an HIV/AIDS clinic in Kampala, Uganda - a one month experience that I, in my naïvety, had assumed would shine light on answers to the world's problems and provide me with direction in my future studies and career choices. Not so shockingly, I returned home with more questions than answers about the all-too-exhaustive list of social injustices in this world and how I could possibly play a role.
The Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington DC, holds a monthly speakers luncheon for Congressional staff interested in the various topics related to foreign assistance. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
Since the 1990's, the U.S. foreign aid budget has helped cut global poverty in HALF. Yet, foreign aid comprises less than 1% of the entire U.S. budget. Foreign aid isn't just a humanitarian cause - when global health improves and poverty is eliminated, citizens of the U.S. benefits from greater global security and a thriving global economy.
Hope Through Healing Hands was proud to be a key sponsor this past weekend at the Mobilizing Medical Missions Conference (M3) at Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. At the conference, doctors, nurses, and other global healthcare professionals and advocates gathered from all over the world. Led by Paul Osteen MD, Lakewood hosted over 1,600 people gathering for the inaugural year of the M3 conference. The crowd was charged with the aim to Be Inspired. Connect With Others. Find Your Mission.
Most Americans believe 26% of the U.S. budget is allocated for foreign aid. The reality? Less than 1%. Contrary to popular belief - this is not an altruistic expenditure. The foreign aid budget actually makes the U.S. more prosperous and secure.
In honor of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, we've re-published this essay by James Nardella that originally appeared in The Mother & Child Project: Raising Our Voices For Health And Hope. As a tireless advocate for human rights and women's empowerment, Nardella's essay shows how men must become agents for change when it comes to putting a stop to practices such as FGM that devalue women. It isn't until all humans are treated equally that our world will see an end to poverty and suffering.

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