The RWHP Approach
The Rural Women's Health Project (RWHP), founded in 1991, is a non-profit organization that designs and implements community-based, health-education projects, trainings, and materials to assist communities in strengthening their understanding of critical health, occupational and family issues.
- Collaborates in the implementation of health projects that promote the well-being of communities.
- Creates innovative educational tools, including: fotonovelas, radionovelas, traditional music, educational games, traditional calendars, flipcharts, radioscripts and more.
- Trains communities and the organizations that serve them in the development and use of community-developed, health education tools and testimonial multi-media.
- Advocates for lay-health worker programs in rural communities.
The RWHP's health justice approach centers on three main concepts: modeling positive health behaviors, providing realistic options to health problems, and the importance of "each one, teach one." This philosophy is put into practice through the production and dissemination of health education training programs, curriculum and popular education techniques, publications for community and health organizations, clinics and outreach programs.
Using visual storytelling as the foundation of our work, we guide community partners in the development of stories that will be the focus of each project. All of our materials, whether produced individually or collaboratively with other grass-roots organizations, include community evaluation to assure message impact with cultural and linguistic accuracy.
The Rural Women's Health Project has developed a unique method of communal storytelling, blending non-formal education, sociology, and health education. The RWHP transforms stories into popular mediums such as the fotonovela, radionovela and original music to convey health messages.
Communal storytelling is a medium that combines elements of cultural beliefs, traditions, and community realities and can be an integral part of successful health education that leads to positive behaviors within the communities, especially among Latino immigrants.