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From Pregnant and Abused to a Community Health Advocate

Published 04/17/2017 by Global Communities

Marce was pregnant and escaping an abusive relationship when she came to live with her siblings in San Diego. She had been abused throughout her pregnancy and courageously decided to leave her husband and start fresh.

Marce visited a community clinic for prenatal visits and was referred to our California Border Healthy Start PLUS Program (CBHS+) for extra support. Project Concern International works along the U.S.-Mexico border to encourage quality prenatal care, labor, and delivery for low-income women and their families. These areas have some of the highest levels of poverty in the country and the poorest birth outcomes.

When Marce was paired with a Patient Navigator (PN) to guide her journey, she was settling into life in San Diego – working as a house cleaner, attending an English class, and collecting recyclables for extra money to help contribute to her siblings’ expenses. After her baby was born, Marce rekindled her relationship with her daughter’s father but experienced much of the same abuse, eventually leading to their breakup. The PN was able to provide Marce with support and help her to feel safer during this difficult time.

Through the CBHS+ Program, Marce was able to receive a referral to English classes, a pre-paid phone, emergency taxi-cards, and bus passes to get to her medical appointments, school, and domestic violence support groups. She also received diapers and clothing for her baby.

This little bit of assistance and support made all of the difference in transforming Marce’s life.

Today, she continues her schooling, attends domestic violence support groups, completed the HEAL Program and all Life Skills sessions within the CBHS+ Program, and found a job as a nanny. She is also taking classes through a local PCI program that trains community health workers and is attending night classes at San Diego City College Extension to receive her certificate/license as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA).

Investing in Marce has transformed not only her life but her daughter’s future and the overall health of her community. Learn more here if you would like to contribute to PCI’s work around the world that empowers women like Marce.