The health post in San Pedro

The Sister Islands’ Health Committee was thrilled to learn this summer that the Seattle International Foundation has awarded a $9,800 grant to help pay for health education on Ometepe and improvements to six health care facilities there.

The health projects are the result of several years of joint planning by the Health Committee and health-care providers on Ometepe, beginning when Ometepe delegates to Bainbridge for the association’s 20th anniversary said that better health care was their No. 1 priority. The Health Committee sponsored two delegations to Ometepe, in 2009 and early 2011, to get to know health care providers on Ometepe and better understand their challenges. The staffs of community clinics on Ometepe then applied for Sister Islands help in improving their facilities. Some clinics, for example, lacked running water or needed better facilities for patients who must stay overnight. The Sister Islands Association funded the first round of improvements; the Seattle International Foundation grant will pay for the second round. The grant will also pay for a health education program designed by the nurses and doctors on Ometepe.

The same foundation gave a $5,000 grant in 2010 to the Beacon Hill-Balgüe Sister Schools program, an independent program that the Sister Islands Association supports with some administrative help. That grant paid for the first year of a three-year program to provide computer equipment and training so teachers at both schools can incorporate Sister Schools activities into their classes.

Both grants were awarded through the foundation’s Global Program, which was created to support and strengthen the international non-profit sector in the Puget Sound area and Washington State.