Karen Anderson 5th Sunday Promotion - EPES

As a Lutheran missionary in Chile from 1982–2000, Karen Anderson founded and directed EPES, Educación Popular en Salud (Popular Education for Health). EPES has worked to build a sustainable health care organization dedicated to promoting the health, dignity and rights of poor people in Chile and throughout the region through education, empowerment and collective action.

In 2009, she returned as an ELCA missionary to help the EPES staff design, launch and direct EPES’ International Training Course on Popular Education in Health which, among other important tasks, explores the role of the church in the struggle for health and human rights. In the past ten years, the International Training program has had 187 participants from 25 countries, including participants from eleven Lutheran churches from other Latin American countries. In the past three years, EPES’ work has expanded to Africa as participants from Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Senegal, Madagascar and Ethiopia have participated in the International Training Course. Upon returning home, they have been implementing EPES training model in their local communities.

In mid-March 2020 the ELCA called all Global Mission personnel home from their countries of service. During these trying and complicated times, the EPES staff continues to be committed to working for justice, dignity and health. Poorer communities in Chile are being hit the hardest. Sheltering at home presents major challenges for poor communities, since many people don´t have the financial resources to buy food and other essential supplies for such a prolonged period of time. The EPES staff all work from home exploring and creating new ways to stay connected and to continue their work with community health teams to support them and their families during this time of quarantine. For an example of one of their programs during this challenging time, see the attached newsletter, “Stories of Hope”, about their online workshop on family gardens.

For more details of EPES programs, visit their website.

*Karen Anderson will be doing a temple talk at the Outdoor Service on August 23rd*


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