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Oficina de Promoción y Desarrolo Social (OPDS) from Barranquilla, Colombia

Organization Assisting Persons Displaced by Violence Recognized for Voluntary Service

On July 8, 2005 and on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (an independent philanthropic organization that enjoys a unique relationship with the Pan American Health Organization [PAHO]), Dr. Ruiz presented the 2004 Clarence H. Moore Award for Voluntary Service to the Oficina de Promoción y Desarrolo Social (Office of Promotion and Social Development) for its outstanding contributions to public health. Dr. Ruiz represented the PAHO/World Health Organization (WHO) office in Colombia. Dr. Hernan Bravo accepted the certificate of merit and $2500 on behalf of OPDS and its community volunteers.

OPDS provides life-giving, primary health care and prevention services for persons displaced by violence on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast. These services address childhood illness, psychological conditions faced by of children affected by civil strife, and HIV/STD prevention.

Dr. Bravo and his OPDS colleagues reiterated their commitment to serving the coastal communities affected by violence with excellence. An integral part of the awards ceremony were discussions on the importance of training volunteer leaders committed to serving their communities and on expanding and improving voluntary service in communities located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

Other OPDS representatives in attendance were Dr. Carmen Lafont (Secretary of the OPDS Governing Board), Dr. William Donado (defense of children program), Ms. Maria E. Paternina (children at risk program), Ms. Vivian Garcia (HIV/sexually transmitted diseases [STD] prevention program), and Ms. Isis Alandete (loan program). Two community facilitators and four community volunteers from the town of Selene also participated in the awards ceremony.

The Pan American Health and Education Foundation established the Clarence H. Moore Award in 1989 to bring attention the achievements of NGOs operating in Latin America and the Caribbean in public health, and celebrates these achievements.

Mr. Clarence Moore was a distinguished public administrator and a man of high idealism and altruistic motivation. He believed that collective action, both through the public sector and on a voluntary basis, could play a leading role in fighting poverty and maintaining human dignity.
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