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Heartbeat for Africa connects with churches and individuals–particularly in Tucson, AZ–to form small, short-term teams that are led by an experienced HBA board member. These teams typically travel to West Africa in the summer. Heartbeat for Africa team members will participate in 2-3 months of training to prepare them for their trip. The training will include Community Health Evangelism (CHE) training, cultural sensitivity training, small group dynamics training, and all required logistical information such as applying for a passport and visa, required vaccinations, fund-raising information to cover trip costs. HBA teams work closely with our in-country partners and the local African CHE Country coordinators to assist them in their mission and training objectives.
A team typically consists of 8-12 people and will spend approximately 2 weeks in Ghana or another West African nation. We are there to support and assist our partners. A typical team schedule is working for 1 week with our partner the City of Refuge Ministries (CORM), a large orphanage an hour outside of Accra, Ghana. During this week, the team will work with the staff and/or children at CORM. This time might be spent in trauma care training, using CHE to teach Biblical principles to the children, conducting life skills training with the youth or whatever area the CORM leadership feels will meet the needs of their children and staff.
The second week is normally focused on providing CHE training to either the in-country CHE Trainers or the local communities. The material is designed to cover topics like: Hygiene, Disease Prevention, Women’s Health, Water Purification, Trauma Care or many other beneficial topics. Heartbeat for Africa teams are focused on the physical, social and spiritual needs of the community. A hands-on activity a team often engages in is conducting a health screening in a rural community or at a school. This screening provides a baseline to determine what, if any, health concerns might be affecting the community. The health screening is led by local medical personnel or doctors who are part of the HBA board.