Simplyhealth asked Across the Divide to source a project that would be a suitable reward for their Being the Difference programme. Our challenge was to find a project that made a real difference to the community, involved the Simplyhealth team in the delivery and where the experience would be rewarding and memorable.
The ideal project solution would also be linked to health care. Our sourcing was successful and we have found a great project for the team to deliver. The team are going to work in the village of Engenho, which is located 4 hours north of Brasilia. Engenho is part of the Kalunga Community, where community members are descendents of escaped African slaves. T
he community survives on sustainable agriculture and services in the area are extremely limited. At present there is no health provision within the community and the nearest medical facilities are as far as two days walk for some members of the community. The Simplyhealth project is the construction of a new Health Centre. The work will commence in mid July, with a team of local builders commencing the project. They will joined by the Simplyhealth team in October to complete the final stages.
The team will help with painting, decorating, glazing, landscaping and the hand-over of the building to the community. The project is fully sustainable with a commitment from the local council to provide the medical provision once the Centre opens. Throughout their time in Engenho, the team will also experience first hand the Kalunga lifestyle. They will have a chance to sample local music, dance and cultural activities. The team will also spend some time in Brasilia meeting representatives from the health sector to understand the positive impact the Health Centre will make in a remote rural community.
Kalunga :: the meaning of a word Originally the ancestral god of the Lunda people of Angola, Zaire and Zambia. Later he became the supreme being, a god of the sky and of creation. He is all-knowing and all-seeing, and a righteous judge of the dead whose decisions are characterized by wisdom and compassion. As the god of the dead he is associated with the underworld and the sea (which is regarded as the realm of the dead). Kalunga is the father of the popular patron god Musisi. Kalunga is also the name of the god of the sea in the pantheon of African deities worshipped in the Congo-Angola cult of Bahia, Brazil.