“I never set out to start a program.” – Kama Trudgen, Hope For Health Co-Founder

Helen and Kama just after the first retreat in 2015.

I never set out to start a program.

I just wanted to help some people that i cared about experience better health. Although lots has had to change from me just cooking and sharing food with a few people, to enable upscaling and governance and financial management etc, I am relieved that Hope for Health has not just become a program. It is a journey. A really powerful journey being shared by passionate people with different skills, knowledge and culture.

“If perfection is your measure of success, you miss the astronomical progress unfolding in your midst.”

When we came back from the first retreat, everyone was glowing and feeling amazing. It was really tangible. People watching on kept commenting that everyone looks amazing, but are they going to be able to keep it up? Are they going to be able to maintain this diet? It seemed like a really unreasonable question in many ways. It seemed to kind of miss the point. No, going to a 2 week health retreat does not suddenly create perfect people with impeccable discipline, able to overcome all the social, economic and practical barriers to achieve health. But thats not a Yolngu problem. That’s a human problem. Change is hard, even for highly educated abundantly resourced people. If perfection is your measure of success, you miss the astronomical progress unfolding in your midst. At Hope for Health we are imperfect people journeying through unchartered waters in an extremely complex environment. But we now have something that is a game changer. We have Hope. We have direction. For our Yolngu community who were totally in the dark about why so many were sick and dying, that makes all the difference in the world.

Many times i have seen program participants fall off the bandwagon with their nutrition choices. Usually in the context of intense difficult situations within their family or community. But you know why i continue to be willing to invest in this? Because the participants keep turning up. They are committed to getting back on track, and finding ways to overcome the obstacles and make things easier for the next people behind them trying to make change. They have Hope. They see a pathway now, and they want to be on it and they want their family on it, and their community. And if they keep turning up, so will I. I will keep journeying with them.

And you know what. Despite the immense challenges individually and corporately, great results are being achieved. Real, tangible improvements in chronic conditions. We continue this journey, because it is working. It is changing lives.

ENDS

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