Culturally Sensitive Health Living Programs

I just spent the day in Trenton, New Jersey filming the next episode of "Dialogue for Donors" which focuses on culturally-sensitive approaches to promoting healthy living. We will profile the Salsa, Sabor y Salud program developed and sponsored throughout the country by Kraft General Foods, in partnership with the National Latino Children's Institute.

As a former funder, I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and participation I saw at the Mercer County Catholic Youth Organization yesterday. While the program has clearly been designed in a way that resonates with the many parents and kids we interviewed, its success is also largely due to the enthusiasm of its director, Gloribee Pica. In addition to grabbing families off the street to participate and religiously goading them forward in their goals, Gloribee has also embraced the healthy living principles advocated by the program, having lost 19 pounds herself since she started leading the program.

The day reminded me, again, of the very essential human elements required to make community-based programs effective. Even the best programs don't flourish without passionate leaders. Donors who want to ensure that their gifts are strategic would do well to inquire of an organization's management what they are doing to retain and develop the gifts of folks like Gloribee.

More on Salsa, Sabor y Salud with the video next week.

Susan Herr

Posted at 9:35 AM, Apr 10, 2008 in Health | Permalink | Comment