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Health for All: Improve Health Access for Congolese Refugees

Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
126 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 16, at 11:59 PM CST
Project Owners

Health for All: Improve Health Access for Congolese Refugees


Across the globe, women and children face barriers to the use of health services. Even here in Iowa, obstacles such as transportation, language, cultural differences, and confusion with a complex health system may prevent some members of our community from accessing essential services. Over the past few years the war and devastation in the Democratic Republic of Congo has caused many families to seek refuge here in Johnson County, with 239 refugees settling here in the last year alone. With fifteen years of experience in developing community-based interventions in Africa and Asia, Dr. Will Story—assistant professor in the University of Iowa (UI) College of Public Health—will be working with his team to improve access to existing health services for women and children in Johnson County’s Congolese community. Dr. Story will work closely with Dr. Denise Martinez—a family physician at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine—to ensure health care providers are delivering culturally competent care and that patients understand the health care system and trust the providers within that system. Drs. Story and Martinez will partner with Zadok Nampala as well as a local community-based organization—IC Compassion—to engage the Congolese community and better understand their health needs.

Our Goal

With the funds raised from this campaign, our team will be able to define and overcome barriers faced by expecting Congolese mothers settling into their new lives in Johnson County. We will work alongside the Congolese community and health care providers to address these barriers in a culturally appropriate way.

With your donations we will be able to:

  • Help improve patient-provider relationships by educating health care providers on the unique needs of Congolese mothers and families.
  • Increase access to health services and health information by meeting with Congolese men and women to help them navigate the health system and create a birth plan.
  • Improve the health of Congolese mothers and children in Johnson County. Without your donations, the health care needs of Congolese refugees will continue to be overlooked.

Make a Difference

Click on the Give Now button to make your donation, and help us spread the word by sharing our project's page with your networks. Thank you for helping us make a difference right here in Johnson County.


NOTICE: The University of Iowa Center for Advancement is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization soliciting tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of the University of Iowa. Please visit the UI Center for Advancement disclosures site for additional information.

Choose a giving level



For the cost of two Starbuck's pumpkin spice lattes, you can help us build a healthier community.



For the cost of a night at the movies, you can help a Congolese child achieve his/her potential.



For the cost of a nice dinner for two, you can help a refugee family adjust to the U.S. health system.



For the cost of a one-hour massage, you can help physicians understand the health care needs of refugees.



For less than $1/day for one year, you can help a new mom get the care she needs.



For less than $3/day for one year, you can transform someone else's life by cutting back a little in your own.

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