Community Health Evangelism
CHE is a wholistic, community-based development strategy that combines relevant evangelism with health education and development principles to bring about the transformation of individuals and communities. It has been used throughout Africa and the world with great success for 30 years.
The strategy involves training development committees which oversee the process in their own community. These committees (in this case comprised of women with disabilities) select women in the community to be trained as Community Health Evangelists/Educators (CHEs) to facilitate the transformative process within the community. The CHEs go through an intensive 8-month training program using a Participatory Learning Approach (PLA) so that the lessons can be transferred to all of the women in the community, without relying on literate methods of transfer. The content of the training course includes, among other things:
- Bible storying
- Basic development principles and practices
- Health education and basic health care
- Sustainable plans, business skills and strategy
- Attitudinal change and capacity building
- Exploitation awareness and defense
- Disability-specific issues
All training provided is geared at oral learners and does not require literacy skills. This enables the women, who are primarily uneducated, to begin learning immediately and implement changes without having to wait for literacy training. Aids are created in pictorial format and can be reproduced simply, so that the women can pass along what they have learned to their children, neighbors and friends with participatory learning methods.