Community Health Workers
The Next Door offers training (or capacitation) to individuals who want to serve as Community Health Workers. CHWs who complete the rigorous 90-hour course requirements are eligible for certification in Oregon. Community Health Workers are trusted, respected people of the community who, working for agencies or as volunteers, provide a connection between residents and health care/social service providers. The program focuses on the empowerment of the workers and the communities that they serve.
Our program uses “Popular Education,” based largely on the ideas of Brazilian Paulo Freire. According to Popular Education theory, all people have a lot of knowledge as a result of their life experiences. The task of the educator is to tap into that knowledge and help people organize their knowledge and use it to benefit their communities. Instead of the word “training,” programs using Popular Education prefer the word capacitation, from the Spanish capacitar which means “to build capacity.”