Project Mais Saúde started as a desire to help older women in our community suffering from various physical and mental health issues. A combination of communal neglect, limited mobility, and depression has left a large percentage of our community's elderly population feeling as if they had nothing left to contribute to a world that has left them far behind. Here at A Fonte, we recognize the complete fallacy of these destructive beliefs and understand that they are the very answer to many of the problems that our community is facing.
Although regular exercise is crucially important for our mental and physical health as we advance in age, it can be a very painful experience, and at the very least it is an annoying chore. This is perhaps why Project Mais Saúde has been so successful, in that, it is a low impact activity that includes dancing and games which produces a fun, low stress atmosphere, that many of these women did not even have the opportunity to know even as children.
Project Mais Saúde is now in its third year as a program here at A Fonte, and serves over 100 elderly women in the community. Through therapeutic exercise, social exposure, and the self-gratification of being able to help Project A Fonte in our work with the at-risk youth in the community, we are truly honored to have been able to give back to them some of the dignity and quality of life that is so lacking in today’s society, and so very blessed to have them as partners in this ministry.
Although Project Mais Saúde has no monetary membership fee, we do ask that each woman bring five kilograms of dried food, such as: sugar, beans, and rice each month to help support our work with the at-risk youth in the community. At first, we were very apprehensive about asking for these donations, but when we announced our need it was received with an overwhelming amount of support and joy. Not only were the women happy to help, they kept asking us: “What more can I do?” I look forward to a post-COVID world, when the women are able to participate and play an even more substantial role in Project A Fonte.