Hesperian Health Guides


Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > Health Actions for Women > Introductory Material > Thanks

The creation of Health Actions for Women has been a labor of love initiated by a group of women devoted to ensuring that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable women gain access to information and improve their lives. This effort grew out of the Hesperian newsletter, the Women’s Health Exchange, a collaboration among community organizers and women’s health educators. Dr. Melissa Smith, the medical editor of Where Women Have No Doctor and a contributor to the Exchange, convened a steering group with Hesperian staff members to shape and guide the project. Our deep appreciation goes to this international group of remarkable women — Lucille Atkin along with Deborah Billings, Mirai Chatterjee, Jill Hackett, May Haddad, Catherine Muthoni, Pallavi Patel, Paula Rojas, Paola Sesia, and Aruna Uprety — who so generously contributed their knowledge, experience, creativity and time to move this project from a dream to a reality. Jane Maxwell deserves special recognition for nurturing this project and its process, passionately engaging the participation of a wide and varied international network of community-based groups and individuals.

Field testing by 41 community-based partners in 23 countries brought together diverse groups of younger and older women, groups that combined adolescent girls with young married women, and mixed gender groups. An astounding 1,400 people participated in discussions, tried out activities, and submitted their feedback and insights about the issues most important to their communities.

Many thanks to the following community-based groups who contributed so much of their hearts, time, and experiences to help us make this book as useful as possible to women all over the world:

Bangladesh: Change Associates
Cambodia: Women’s Resource Center
China: Yunnan Health and Development Association (YHDRA)
Ethiopia: Venture Strategies Innovations (VSI)
Ghana: One Africa Research Development and Extension Programme, Village Exchange Ghana, Widows Fight
Guatemala: Centro Ecuménico de Integración Pastoral Quetzaltenango, Centro de Educación y Recuperación Nutricional Emmanuel (CERNE), Asociación de Servicios Comunitarios de Salud (ASECSA), Tan Ux’il
Guinea: Today’s Women International Network (TWIN)
India: Centre for Health Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA), Jamkhed Institute for Training in Community Health and Development, SAMA Health Forum, Self-employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Tathapi Trust
Kenya: National Organization of Peer Educators (NOPE), Rehma Ta Allah Community Development Group
Lebanon: Women’s Humanitarian Organization (WHO)
Liberia: Women’s Solidarity Inc. (WOSI), Planning, Empowering, Advocating for Community Endeavors (PEACE)
Malawi: Girls Empowerment Network (GENET)
Mexico: Comité por una Maternidad Sin Riesgos Oaxaca, Grupos de Estudio sobre la Mujer Rosario Castellanos
Mongolia: Princess Center
Nepal: Rural Health Education Services Trust (RHEST)
Nicaragua: ATRAVES
Nigeria: Family-Centered Initiatives for Challenged Persons (FACICP)
Pakistan: Social Transformation and Educational Prosperity (STEP), Women in Need (WIN)
Philippines: Likhaan
Rwanda: The Ihangane Project
Sierra Leone: Midwives on Missions of Service (MOMs)
US/Choctaw Nation: JourneyWomen
Zambia: Central Action on HIV/AIDS (CAHA)

These organizations have been invaluable in supporting the development of this book in many ways: Ipas, The Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven) and Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI) of the Public Health Institute, Global Fund for Women, and CARE, Peru.

And a heartfelt thanks to the countless others who gave so freely of their time, talents and support, especially:

Oladayo Afolabi
Maria Aguilar
Sajida Arif
Sarah Arshad
Ximena Avellaneda Diaz
Magdalena Bacalando
Erick Ballena
Memory Banda
Maggie Bangser
Enhjargal Banzragch
Esther Barajas
John Bergez
Deborah Bickel
Patricia Ravelo Blancas
Sera Bonds
James Briggs
James Brooks
Hallie Brown
August Burns
Jenna Burton
Sarah Buttrey
Blanca Castanon
Emma Delfina Chirix
Haile Eshe Cole
Kellee Coleman
Gina Conde
Elizabeth Cox
Miatta Darwolor
Junice Demeterio-Melgar
Meagan Demitz
Karin DeNevi
Ivonne Diaz del Valle
Milka Dinev
Hector Dominguez
Lina Echeverri
Shalini Eddens
Christina Ekpedzor
Mary Ellsberg
Teresa Emeterio
Greta-Stina Engelbert
Elena Esquiche
Kurt Eulau
Paul Farmer
Rudy A. Felipe
Audrey Fernandes
Miriam Ford
Latanya Mapp Frett
Graciela Freyermuth
Edith Friedman
Alanna Galati
Del Garcia
Iris Garcia
Daria Garina
Michela Garrison
Connie Gates
Araceli Gil
Jaclyn Gilstrap
Anna Giske
Maenna Glenn
Laura Goldman
Jacob Goolkasian
Ishan Gordon

Miriam Bird Greenberg
Flora Gutiérrez
Anya Gutman
Pham Bich Ha
Paula Hammond
Leigh Haynes
Zena Herman
Ana Maria Hernandez Cárdenas
Lorena Herrera
Leila Hessini
Shobha Hiatt
Nazneen Huq
Alyson Hyman
Andrea Irvin
Sharon Ishcomer-Fleming
Ellen Israel
Megan Ivankovich
Zeina Jamaladdine
Peg Johnston
Dorcas Khasowa
Pisey Khim
Jasmine Kaur
Laura Kirkpatrick
Paul Kivel
Michael Klitsch
Beatrice Korto
Kranti and Sabala
Miriam Lara-Meloy
BA Laris
Clara Lawal
Wendy Leonard
Eduardo Liendro
Rebecca Lightsey
Chona Lobitana
Claire Long
Ronnie Lovich
Irene Lu
Christine Lungu
Brinton Lykes
Jay MacGillivray
Gina Margillo
Tara Mathur
Eileen McCormick
Laurie McWhorter
Elvia Mendoza
Christiane Milev
Sierra Miley-Boland
Pilar Montalvo
Jennifer Moss
Katie Muller
Sonia Navani
Meira Neggaz
Candice Newman
Kofi Nyalimba
Josephat Nyamwaya
Dollina Odera
Helen Abazie Ogechi
Thank-God Okosun
Rebecca Okuamoah
Magdalena Olivera Ramirez
Jen Olson
Yesenia Ortega

Alana Ortez
Jessica Osorio
Deborah Ottenheimer
Emma Ottolenghi
Waela Oweity
Nancy Owen Lewis
Foyeke Oyedokun
Sana Patel
Alissa Petrites
Ha Pham Bich
Ndola Prata
Helen Pu
Minal Rahimtoola
Pilar Ramirez
Dee Redwine
Cecile Richards
Janie Riley
Luciane Rocha
José Ros
Patricia Ross
Antonieta Rued
Dan Rutz
Ada Ruzer
Yinusa Olanrewaju Saheed
Tahira Saleem
Diana Santana
Rene Castro Santoro
N.B. Sarojini
Hallie Sekoff
Katharine Shapiro
Lonny Shavelson
Leslie Shipman
José Ros Silvestre
Josefina Simbajon
Amrita Singh
Anuradha Singh
Megan Sloat
Maia Small
CP Smitha
Barbara de Souza
Peggy Stern
Dayna Stimson
A.O. Sule-Odu
Esther Tahrir
Dorothy Tegeler
Cabbell Tennis II
Claire Tibbits
Oyungerel Tsedekdamba
Laura Turiano
Leah Uberseder
Ekeate Umoh
Irma Valasquez
Valerie Varco
Marvin Vásquez
Arnold Vega
Adrian Velasquez
Lily Walkover
Curt Wands-Bourdoiseau
Glen Williams
Paula Worby
Robin Young
Sandra Zerbo
Victor Zubeldia

Melissa Smith thanks Charles Hale, and Amalia and Sofia Smith Hale for their abiding support, wise counsel, love and accompaniment throughout the book development process; and my parents, Dorothy and Palmer Smith, for their example of working for the common good. I also thank the community health workers and midwives who I have had the privilege of working with in Central America and Mexico, whose creativity and passion for social justice have guided my own life’s path. Sarah Shannon thanks the women of El Salvador, whose tireless work for social justice and gender equality has inspired me and so many others; and Pedro, Mercedes, Phyllis, Robin and other colleagues from Conta for all you taught me about being a popular educator. Kathleen Vickery thanks the remarkable women who founded Isis International in Santiago, Chile, and all who have shared their wisdom, struggles and visions of change through the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network. Their pioneering advocacy helped midwife the global women’s health movement and inspired my contributions to this book.