Amiga is an organization that was born in 2006 out of a passion for serving the poor by offering opportunities to improve mental, physical and spiritual health and developing personal relationships. Additionally, friendships that are evolving bridge the gap of our differences that are born out of lack of opportunities.
AMIGA is a tax exempt 501C3 business that received formal recognition by the federal government in March of 2007, and runs under the direction and volunteer work of Raquel Ortez, SSND and Helen Kornblum,M.D. Further, we are grateful for the work of many throughout the U.S. that cultivate the growth of this organization. The primary objectives of AMIGA are basic preventative health care and education through basic health instruction for all patients and parents, and a scholarship program for high school students. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is a powerful weapon that can be used to positively change the world.”, and we hope to make a positive difference in the world of each person we meet. We look forward to leading our 22nd medical brigade and receiving our 11th shipment in June 2013.
On our medical brigades, each patient (approximately 1000 patients are seen in a week) receives soap and vitamins, necessary medications, preventative health education, and most importantly respect with a kind embrace. Our scholarship program supports young boys and girls from two different schools – keeping them off the street and offering them a chance to break the terrible cycle of poverty with the impact of education. The highest service we can perform for others is to help them help themselves.
Furthermore, AMIGA’s objectives are sustained through basic multidisciplinary health clinics set up in remote communities that are deprived of basic health care, clean water, and education, among other basic needs for life. We also make personal visits to patients in their homes and host educational seminars. Many leaders from these areas thank us for “not forgetting them”. In June we are collaborating with pediatricians from New York to initiate a Helping Babies Breathe program in the remote mountainous villages, in conjunction with the distribution of nebulizers with training and follow through. On this brigade we will also receive, organize, and distribute AMIGA’s brigade shipment, now supported by Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Parish (OLPH). OLPH has an AMIGA outreach that works throughout the year to collect, clean, organize and prepare our AMIGA shipments annually. Items on this shipment are directly used for our medical brigades. A container full of much needed items such as new or gently used clothing for the poor, some school supplies, medical supplies and medications for our brigades, Personal Energy Transportation vehicles (PET’s) and wheelchairs are carefully distributed to the underprivileged. Our shipments and service brigades broaden our mission by enhancing service to the poor directly through our medical brigades, and through collaboration with local community leaders, hospitals, clinics for women and children, and nutrition centers with donation of these needed items. We are confident that with God, and the great people who sustain this mission in so many ways we will continue to do this work. We are deeply rooted in AMIGA’s mission, along with a strong commitment to Honduras through support of the local economy and most essentially through dedication to those we support through our mission. We understand our responsibility to continue this work, and the great privilege it is to serve our brothers and sisters. Through health of mind, body, and spirit and many small actions and contributions of many, we can alter the face of the world. As once stated by one of our young brigade members, “To the world, you may only be one person, but to one person, you may be the world.”
As we continue to grow our medical brigades and follow through on our patients, our students, and the Helping Babies Breathe project we foresee the need to also grow our home in Honduras. More space is greatly needed and we will be initiating a capital campaign for building soon, along with our annual fundraising event. All donations directly support our mission and to the people we are privileged to serve.
Love and service are the brightest reflection of God’s presence on earth. AMIGA is a nonprofit organization that is fueled by a profound belief in the power of love and a determination to make a difference in the lives of our impoverished brothers and sisters in Central America. The bond that links our true family in God is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. All of our administrative work is voluntary and all contributions and sponsorship go directly to serve the poor through our mission.