West End UMC Members Complete Mission Trip
Seven members of the West End United Methodist Church recently returned from a mission trip to northern Peru.
They worked in two of the poorest villages in Peru, Bello Horizonte and Ciudad Di Dios. They planted gardens, taught nutrition -working with the fruits and vegetables locally available - and built 13 latrines.
"It was certainly not your usual mission trip, although it did include working on building a shared clinic in one of the towns," says a spokesman. "We worked along with the villagers and students from UNC, Duke, Yale and Ohio State."
Three health fairs were also held with doctors and dentists from Trujillo, the nearest large city, providing their services.
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental kits and dental floss were donated by local dentists Allison, Allison and Hulihan, Dr. Cameron Monroe and Dr. Clement Monroe, and Smithfield dentist Dr. Kevin Kobley for these health fairs, and church members gave sample soaps and shampoos.
"These handouts were really appreciated by the families," says the spokesman.
To raise money for the trip, the group had a "Taste of Peru" dinner for the community to sample various Peruvian dishes, and also held a successful plant sale.
The youth of WEUMC collected enough change (more than $400) to purchase playground equipment for the schoolyard at Ciudad de Dios.
Church members participating were Dr. Won Namkoong, Carmela Chase, Stu Chase, Jennifer Forsman, Bob Forsman, Ron Baker and Mary Anne Lauer.
Church member Esther Namkoong, Public Health program director for Moche Inc., spends the summer in that area coordinating the work of the volunteers.
"Such an attachment was developed for the people and the work at Cuidad that another trip is planned for spring," says the spokesman.
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