|International Summit of Ecoclubs: PAHO/WHO Proposes to Promote Knowledge Management and Communication|
El Paso, TX, 5 November 2012 (PAHO/WHO)–The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the International Ecoclubs Network signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in order to promote the use of knowledge management and communication tools, for the purpose of fostering the virtual exchange among the leaders of this youth and children movement committed to improve the quality of life of the population of their locality.
The MOU was presented within the framework of the International Summit of Ecoclubs in the Americas that took place from October 31 to November 1 in El Paso, Texas, and that was chaired jointly by the director of PAHO/WHO, Dr. Mirta Roses Periago.
This instrument also will serve to strengthen the collaboration between the two organizations and develop a work plan for face-to-face and virtual collaboration among the leaders of Ecoclubs of the Americas and the focal points of PAHO/WHO. Among the objectives of the MOU include: cooperate and collaborate in the areas of water, hygiene and health, climate change, health promotion, sexual and reproductive health and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, among others.
Dr. Roses proposed to work with “a single platform of information and knowledge management where everything can be done: build a network, to link the social capital, the bank of experiences, and to manage to share experiences, and strengthen its organization.” The recommendation and offer of support was well received by the representatives of the Ecoclubs, who shaped the information and knowledge management as one of the lines of action of its joint strategic plan.
The theme of the International Summit of Ecoclubs was proposed for a greater influence on the local matters of environmental health in North and Central America, and the Caribbean. The encounter brought together representatives of the network of this movement of the entire American hemisphere: Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, and the United States. Moreover, thanks to the use of the information and communication technologies, representatives of Ecoclubs of other countries were able to participate.
The Ecoclub in the area of El Chamizal is the first of the United States and now the National Network of Ecoclubs in the United States is part of the network integrated by 38 countries. Its purpose is to improve the quality of life, contribute to the well-being of its community, develop leadership skills in the young people, and promote the health of boys, girls, young adults, and adolescents. The Ecoclub is an independent organization and is governed by the young people of the community where it operates.
In turn, Dr. Alfonso Contreras, regional adviser in Health Education and Social Communication of PAHO/WHO, indicated that “the groups as Ecoclubs are called to also lead the digital revolution of the new communication technologies, and social networks already permit the young people to exchange experiences and to make their voices heard in an effective way as had never been before possible.”
The participants had the opportunity to share experiences, prepare a strategic plan, and discuss the current challenges of the network of Ecoclubs. Within the sharing of experiences, there was recognized the support provided by the Pan American Health Organization, such as the case of Haiti where the Ecoclubs, in coordination with PAHO, managed to support the people most affected in the disaster areas and during the cholera outbreak. Furthermore, they pointed out that tie that managed to strengthen collaboration among the Ecoclubs of Haiti and of the Dominican Republic.
Moreover, during the encounter, Dr. Roses received the key to the city of El Paso by the mayor John Cook.
The Pan American Health Organization, founded in 1902, works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. It serves as the Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO). PAHO/WHO United States-Mexico Border Office was established in 1942, it continues to facilitate and promote border collaboration with public and private binational institutions and entities involved in improving the health of the population at the Border.
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