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Shining World Compassion Award: FEMAP - Caring across the Mexico/US Border    
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Everywhere in the world, we can observe and be touched by acts of kindness. People from all walks of life, faiths, and cultures extend themselves beyond the call of duty to help others unconditionally. Through their noble deeds, humanity as a whole is elevated.

To commend virtuous actions and encourage more people to be inspired by their examples, Supreme Master Ching Hai has lovingly created a series of awards, including the Shining World Leadership Award, Shining World Compassion Award, Shining World Hero and Heroine Awards, Shining World Honesty Award, Shining World Protection Award, Shining World Intelligence Award, and Shining World Inventor Award, to recognize some of the most exemplary, generous, caring, and courageous people who walk amongst us.

Mrs. Gaudalupe Arizpe De La Vega, who lives in El Paso, Texas, USA, travels across the border to Juarez, Mexico multiple times a week to visit the unique hospital she created more than 30 years ago.

Beautiful to see a family!

Hospital de la Familia provides quality medical care for all people regardless of their ability to pay. It has never turned anyone away and has been a place of hope and refuge in a city affected by poverty, the illegal drug trade, crime and violence. Miraculously and thankfully, the hospital and its staff have remained unharmed throughout the years.

One day.

One day old. Wow. So what can you tell us, your experience about Hospital de la Familia?

It’s fine here. My wife is feeling good here.

I knew about a lady that came from the south with nine children, pregnant with the tenth child. The husband went to El Paso and he never came back. She was sick and depressed. Her nine children were crying because they were hungry. She didn’t want to bring another child to suffer like the other nine.

When the woman tried to abort her child violently in her home, she was hospitalized then jailed. Mrs. De La Vega visited her in jail to help her and understand her act of desperation, realizing with deep sympathy the need to provide information and social support for such women.

I think it was a very strong, deep-rooted desire of equality and justice, to give other people the opportunities that they could have if they could have been more lucky in life and get another opportunity of education, for instance.

With others of like mind, Mrs. De La Vega founded the Hospital de la Familia. The hospital is funded by FEMAP-SADEC (Mexican Federation of Private Associations), and SADEC (Health and Community Development of Ciudad Juarez), non-profit institutions that Mrs. De La Vega co-founded.

I think that health is the main of the human rights. If you don’t have health you don’t have life and you don’t have nothing. So you have to have health in order to be empowered.

Since 1995, I have been the director of the hospitals. Implementing the institution’s activities has been a pleasure for me, and I have tried to bring that enthusiasm to the people who work at this hospital, a little over 100 doctors, more than 130 nurses who work in the three medical units that we have here in Ciudad Juarez.

We have four babies that have been with us like two or three months. But when they were born, they were like 800 grams, and one of them was 1 kilogram. They had severe breathing problems, we took a long way to start feeding them. Seeing these babies since they were born, and looking at them how they have been improving, and now we started feeding them, it’s great.

We are working in Juarez to achieve through research, through education, through programs of health, and also economic development, through micro-enterprises, providing loans to the people so they can improve their lives this way.

Being among these women and their desire to succeed, it's just amazing. Their resilience, their creativity, their determination. I see them solving their solutions and all they needed was a little bit of help.

We have a number of programs that are implemented in the community, programs, for example, that enhance the development of the children.

In order to facilitate the support of the community and economic projects, the FEMAP Foundation was established in El Paso, Texas, USA by Mrs. De La Vega and Ms. Adair Margo.

A lot of times we think only the wealthy give to the poor, but here, everybody gives what they can, through volunteerism, through looking after their neighbor’s health. And in a city that is racked by so much violence now, people don’t see light here. That’s why it’s wonderful you all here and the title of your [Association’s] award, “Shining World.” This is a shining beacon of light in the middle of Ciudad Juarez.

I am a health promoter in the community. And we go to help people.

Why do you do all this?

For love of the community.

The fact of the matter is, if you met these nursing students, they’re all not from Mexico. They are El Pasoans ones who come here. There are people who seek healthcare here who aren’t insured and can’t have it in the United States. So we help each other across the border. Love drives the organization, really.

Every day that I come to the hospital, I see that things are being done. You see the changes in people. A lady that comes crying to the hospital because she has a very sick child, and then she goes out smiling and saying, “Thank you, we are all right.” That gives meaning to my life.

I believe that human beings are the maximum expression of excellence in the universe. And if we can through our efforts help one person, to change the life of one person, that gives meaning to our lives. We will see life in a different side.

Supreme Master Ching Hai honored Mrs. De La Vega with the Shining World Compassion Award, along with US$30,000 to further her noble work.

“Dear Mrs. De La Vega, It is with great pleasure and gratitude that we present to you the “Shining World Compassion Award.” This Award is presented in recognition of outstanding humanitarianism as shown by your extraordinary, gracious and noble efforts to selflessly serve the community of Ciudad Juarez as founder and administrator of the Hospital de la Familia. Established over 30 years ago as a simple clinic, the hospital has flourished to become a bastion of hope, light and inspiration within the city.

You have lovingly devoted your life to the well-being of others, exercising unparalleled care and self-sacrifice in order to provide for the people when they need it the most. The staff of the Hospital de la Familia represents the true heart and soul of the city, providing a sanctuary of compassion and tender ministering to all those who seek it.

Over 900 patients each day are welcomed and cared for within the hospital, regardless of their ability to pay for the highly-skilled services they receive. Such exceptional kindness and generosity is rare indeed! Your tireless and determined spirit of service has blessed so many. Thank you for uplifting our world with your inspirational example of love in action.

For selflessly providing crucial medical services for the needy over so many years, for your noble and visionary life’s-work, and for being a dedicated and noble role model and loving servant of the people, we hereby applaud and celebrate the compassionate deeds of Mrs. Guadalupe Arizpe De La Vega, Ciudad Juarez Angel of Mercy. With Great Honor, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai”

Thank you very much.

Thank you very much. (You are welcome.) It’s so beautiful! (Yeah, congratulations!)

Supreme Master Ching Hai would also like to contribute US$30,000 (Wow!) for your future endeavors to helping the needy with your work.

Thank you very much. (You are welcome.)

With Supreme Master Ching Hai’s US$30,000 contribution, the FEMAP Foundation is planning to expand their high-standard nursing school, which also provides opportunities for students in need.

They came to make an examination to all of our students at state level with all the schools. And our students got the first, the second, the third and the fourth places, that made us very happy. So they want to come here, and because we have a smaller school even if it’s very good in quality, so we have to tell them no, because we don’t have space. But now, thank you for your help to have a school for 1,000 nurses!

The tuition is very, very low, and we have many scholarships. And you see the tremendous transformation of their lives. For instance, I fell last year in December. They took me to the hospital in El Paso, Texas. The one who received me in the Providence Hospital was a nurse, and he told me, “Mrs. De LaVega, I am angry with you.” And I said, “Why are you angry with me?”

And he says, “I have my graduation on December, and I wanted to be in a photograph with you giving my certificate, and you don’t even go to the graduation.” And I say, “Oh my God!” My daughter she was crying, she said, “My mother, do you realize how many lives FEMAP has changed?” And I said, “Thank you, God, because we have another life that was changed here.”

In addition to receiving the award, Mrs. De La Vega was also presented with gifts, including Supreme Master Ching Hai’s lecture DVDs and music CDs, her #1 international bestselling books, “The Birds in My Life” and “The Noble Wilds,” among others. Mrs. De La Vega wished to convey her gratefulness to Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Thank you [Supreme Master Ching Hai] for giving us your help and your hand in a moment of crisis that our city and our people really need it. Thank you for making our world better. I want to share with you all the fantastic experiences of change that we have had with all these people, from darkness to light. Thank you very much for making our dream possible.

Usually, people work only in their dream, but you [Supreme Master Ching Hai] are reaching others who have dreams, and that makes you incredibly generous. Thank you for your generosity!

FEMAP co-founders Mrs. De La Vega and Ms. Adair Margo also sent the following letter of appreciation.

“Dear Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you for your generous donation of US$30,000 that we pledge will be put to very good use. For 37 years, FEMAP has been involved in the most marginalized communities of Ciudad Juarez, and your gift will help us continue providing high-quality healthcare to the poorest of the poor. Someday we hope you will visit one of our two full-service hospitals – the Hospital de la Familia and the Hospital Santa Maria. They are places of light and love in the midst of the darkness… Again, mil gracias (many thanks) for your support! With heartfelt gratitude, Guadalupe De La Vega and Adair Margo”

Thank you Mrs. De La Vega, Ms. Margo and all at FEMAP and the Hospital de la Familia for your vision and dedication in helping the most vulnerable people lead better lives. May Heaven bless you, all the staff, groups and individuals involved in your expanding mission of compassion and love.

For more information about FEMAP and the Hospital de la Familia, please visit www.femap.org

Thank you for your gracious company on today’s program. Coming up next is Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News. May your life be blessed with health and kindness.
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